Friday, July 28, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Is the concept of 'free will' an illusion ?


Posted on Monday, 23 June, 2014 | Comment icon 35 comments

Do we really possess free will ? Image Credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Mason
Scientists believe that free will could be due to fluctuations in the background noise of the brain.
As a species we like to believe that our actions are governed by our own decisions and that we have the ability to make autonomous choices as we see fit. Some believe however that the very concept of free will is nothing but an illusion.

Scientists at the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California have recently discovered that the choices we make may actually be influenced by the background activity of the brain.

Their findings were based on an experiment in which volunteers were asked to look at a screen before making a decision whether to look left or right. What the researchers found was that it was possible to predict which choice any given person would make by observing their brain activity even before they had actually made a decision.

"The state of the brain right before presentation of the cue determines whether you will attend to the left or to the right," said Dr Jesse Bengson. "[Though] purposeful intentions, desires and goals drive our decisions in a linear cause-and-effect kind of way, our finding shows that our decisions are also influenced by neural noise within any given moment."

Source: Independent | Comments (35)

Tags: Free Will, Brain

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #26 Posted by gatekeeper32 on 24 June, 2014, 15:04
The ultimate testimonial to free will is the ability to chose self-destruction in the pursuitt of pleasure. i.e. Smoking, drug addition,
Comment icon #27 Posted by questionmark on 24 June, 2014, 15:24
But, the choices we make are influenced by the ones you made before that choice. Circumstances are also dictated by earlier choices. That can be totally external to yourself... like having hunger every few hours and needing to drink at least once in 48 hours and having somebody stronger than you sitting on the well with the food bag.
Comment icon #28 Posted by danielost on 24 June, 2014, 17:19
The stronger person holding the bag of food is making choices too based on his expearancesm
Comment icon #29 Posted by Hobbit Feet on 24 June, 2014, 17:51
True Machiavellians have free will whether anyone likes or not!
Comment icon #30 Posted by questionmark on 24 June, 2014, 18:13
The stronger person holding the bag of food is making choices too based on his expearancesm Well, more relevant is what the hungry guy is going to base his decision on...
Comment icon #31 Posted by Leonardo on 24 June, 2014, 19:03
I still say that you could have had a choice but you took the path that your previous experience told you was "better". The concept of free-will presumes that the future and past exist as 'choices' we may, or may not, take - but the future does not exist, although it may be predicted. And examination of any past sequence of events will suggest that there is only ever a single outcome for any unique event. We cannot claim the existence of something we cannot observe, and free-will presumes the existence of 'alternate realities' where different outcomes to unique events occurred. So, where are t... [More]
Comment icon #32 Posted by DieChecker on 24 June, 2014, 20:44
Is the background noise God?
Comment icon #33 Posted by Junior Chubb on 24 June, 2014, 22:12
You really only had two choices to choose from. There was a third.... Banning you
Comment icon #34 Posted by EllJay on 24 June, 2014, 22:20
Is the concept of 'free will' an illusion ? I think the will of illusions on the concept of free...is an illusion.
Comment icon #35 Posted by RaymondEternal on 4 August, 2014, 13:33
Hypotheoreotically speaking decision equals to free will and posting this article is free will.......


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5952099
256283
168371

 
Rare full circle rainbow filmed over Russia
7-28-2017
A crane operator working on a construction site has recorded footage of a 360-degree rainbow.
First extrasolar moon potentially discovered
7-28-2017
Astronomers believe that they may have found, for the first time, a moon orbiting an extrasolar planet.
Conjoined bat twins discovered in rainforest
7-28-2017
The extremely rare find is one of only a few examples of conjoined twins ever seen outside of humans.
California residents report 'Chupacabra'
7-27-2017
Alleged sightings of the cryptozoological creature have sparked concerns over the safety of local pets.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Hyperloop test
Posted 7-28-2017 | 1 comment
A look at the first successful test ride of the Hyperloop - a futuristic transportation system.
 
Octopus goes for a walk
Posted 7-27-2017 | 4 comments
As this video shows, not all octopus' limit their exploration to the bottom of the sea.
 
Redefining the kilogram
Posted 7-24-2017 | 0 comments
How exactly do we define the weight of one kilogram and can it change over time ?
 
Stretchy batteries
Posted 7-23-2017 | 0 comments
Scientists have come up with a way to make batteries and their cases stretchy.
 
Counting to one billion
Posted 7-22-2017 | 1 comment
How long would it take to count to one billion and has anyone ever managed to do so ?
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
My real, true experiences
7-26-2017 | New Zealand
 
Incoming call
7-26-2017 | B.T. Collins Park: Folsom, CA
 
Three knocks woke me up twice
7-26-2017 | Virginia
 
Spider signs
7-21-2017 | Michigan
 
My ancestry is calling me
7-21-2017 | Morgan Hill, Ca
 
I can hear someone
6-27-2017 | Maryland
 
My dead father spoke to me
6-27-2017 | Alabama
 
Is my child predicting our death ?
6-27-2017 | Lincoln Park, MI
 
Craig is here
6-10-2017 | Phoenix AZ
 
We saw the same thing!
6-10-2017 | Pooler, GA
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ