Free Will & Neurology: brain activity to conscious decision




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Published on 13 Sep 2007

Free Will and Neurology:

How could a brain made of ordinary matter give rise to a mind floating totally free from physical reality?

Experiment: Measuring brain activity in the run-up to a conscious decision.
Results: The brain is working on a decision at least 2 seconds before it becomes a conscious element.

Susan Greenfield: "The actions and decisions we take everyday, which feel like instant conscious choices, are the result of slowly emerging sub-conscious processes in the brain."

We have a free will and we make choices. "There's no way we can think away our own conviction of free will. We cannot abandon it, it's a necessary presupposition" says philosopher John Searle. But those choices are always the result of very personal but subconscious analysis.

This concept explained and much more in the documentary series "Brain Story" (2000) by the extraordinary British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Full description of the original documentary series:

Official "brain story" book, companion to the series:

About the author, Susan Greenfield:

the "whole brain atlas" online:


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