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Neural precursors of deliberate and arbitrary decisions in the study of voluntary action

Quote
Abstract

The readiness potential (RP)—a key ERP correlate of upcoming action—is known to precede subjects’ reports of their decision to move. Some view this as evidence against a causal role for consciousness in human decision-making and thus against free-will. Yet those studies focused on arbitrary decisions—purposeless, unreasoned, and without consequences. It remains unknown to what degree the RP generalizes to deliberate, more ecological decisions. We directly compared deliberate and arbitrary decision-making during a $1000-donation task to non-profit organizations. While we found the expected RPs for arbitrary decisions, they were strikingly absent for deliberate ones. Our results and drift-diffusion model are congruent with the RP representing accumulation of noisy, random fluctuations that drive arbitrary—but not deliberate—decisions. They further point to different neural mechanisms underlying deliberate and arbitrary decisions, challenging the generalizability of studies that argue for no causal role for consciousness in decision-making to real-life decisions.


Significance Statement:

 The extent of human free will has been debated for millennia. Previous studies demonstrated that neural precursors of action—especially the readiness potential—precede subjects’ reports of deciding to move. Some viewed this as evidence against free-will. However, these experiments focused on arbitrary decisions—e.g., randomly raising the left or right hand. We directly compared deliberate (actual $1000 donations to NPOs) and arbitrary decisions, and found readiness potentials before arbitrary decisions, but—critically—not before deliberate decisions. This supports the interpretation of readiness potentials as byproducts of accumulation of random fluctuations in arbitrary but not deliberate decisions and points to different neural mechanisms underlying deliberate and arbitrary choice. Hence, it challenges the generalizability of previous results from arbitrary to deliberate decisions.
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General Misc. / Re: "War is Intellect" and other Griffith icons/graphics based on Conphas
« Last post by H on March 18, 2019, 03:46:32 pm »
What's exactly wrong with that tho? Also, remember when the Skull Knight tried to kill Griffith and instead tore a hole between worlds? It'll be interesting to see how far their 'white-luck' extends, won't it.

There isn't really anything wrong with it, only the fact that it begs different questions in the case.

Time is a complicated subject in either case.  I do find it more interesting, personally, to think of the characters as having choices, even if those choices have, essentially, been preordained.  In this sense, it isn't that Griffith had to do what he did, it's that he would.  So, he did make a choice, in a sense, because he could have acted otherwise, but chose not to.  That he chose not to was foreseen, but to me, it's more interesting if this was not determinate, blindly so, but rather is just knowledge of the way things are likely to turn out.

I mean, we'll see how it works, because Guts should be dead, but he isn't.  So, we don't know if we are in a totally determinate world or not.  It's still more interesting to me if the characters are actually making choices, even if they fail at making ones they haven't been driven to.  It's basically a question of "locus of control."
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How does that make him have free will though? This is how he truly was as a person, he was destined for the Egg of the King, destined to be a member of the God-Hand.

Well, if he had no choice in the matter, then there isn't anything to discuss, it was all fated from the get go and no one could do otherwise.  Well, except perhaps the Skull Knight, but even that could be questioned.
What's exactly wrong with that tho? Also, remember when the Skull Knight tried to kill Griffith and instead tore a hole between worlds? It'll be interesting to see how far their 'white-luck' extends, won't it.
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General Misc. / Re: "War is Intellect" and other Griffith icons/graphics based on Conphas
« Last post by H on March 18, 2019, 12:28:45 pm »
How does that make him have free will though? This is how he truly was as a person, he was destined for the Egg of the King, destined to be a member of the God-Hand.

Well, if he had no choice in the matter, then there isn't anything to discuss, it was all fated from the get go and no one could do otherwise.  Well, except perhaps the Skull Knight, but even that could be questioned.
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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TTT Chapter 15
« Last post by TheCulminatingApe on March 17, 2019, 07:45:49 pm »
"I have not my eyes with me," Moenghus said, and Kellhus understood instantly that he referred to the asps used by his Cishaurim brethren.  "I walk these halls by memory".

Moenghus seems to be going out of his way to remove sight as a factor in whatever transpires with Kellhus.  Not only is he himself physically blind, but he has left his surrogate 'eyes' elsewhere.  The meeting between father and son takes place in a very dimly lit underground room, and Moenghus spends a lot of the time obscured by running water (which may also be obscuring his voice).  The implication would be that Kellhus is unable to see (and hear) with the clarity he normally would, and therefore is unable to read Moenghus in the same way he would read others. 
Moenghus is up to some sort of deception, or wants to keep Kellhus in check?
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Oh, I think he had free will, but in some cases, when he did do those horrible things, I don't think he had very many options.

Well, there was always the option then of just sacrificing his "dream" and not selling them all for it.  But that was always more important to him than anything.  Which is the root of the whole thing, really.
How does that make him have free will though? This is how he truly was as a person, he was destined for the Egg of the King, destined to be a member of the God-Hand.
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General Misc. / Re: "War is Intellect" and other Griffith icons/graphics based on Conphas
« Last post by H on March 15, 2019, 03:03:58 pm »
Oh, I think he had free will, but in some cases, when he did do those horrible things, I don't think he had very many options.

Well, there was always the option then of just sacrificing his "dream" and not selling them all for it.  But that was always more important to him than anything.  Which is the root of the whole thing, really.
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Oh, I think he had free will, but in some cases, when he did do those horrible things, I don't think he had very many options.
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General Misc. / Re: "War is Intellect" and other Griffith icons/graphics based on Conphas
« Last post by H on March 15, 2019, 02:43:19 pm »
I don't think that Griffith is a narcissist or a sociopath. If anything, I think he's on the BPD spectrum. Honestly, when it came to him being horrible, in a lot of cases, he had to be. There were only two cases where he didn't have to horrible. :/

I don't know, I'm not really a fan of the implications if we think of things along the lines of Griffith not having free will.  Because, in that case, he isn't even a character, he's just a plot device.  Indeed, everyone is just a plot device then, basically.  It's far more interesting to me if Griffith does have free will, because then the question of why he does things is something to think about.
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Literature / Re: YOU MUST TELL ME ... What else are you reading?
« Last post by Dora Vee on March 15, 2019, 01:50:30 pm »
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