Lectures and seminars "Free will in the human brain?" - a lecture with Patrick Haggard
Welcome to a lecture with Patrick Haggard, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, UK, on Wednesday 22 September 2021 at 16:00 in Biomedicum.
"Free will in the human brain?"
Patrick Haggard, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, UK
The capacity for voluntary action ("free will") is often viewed as fundamental to human nature but is difficult to explain scientifically. The strongest neuroscientific consensus perhaps comes from drawing a contrast between voluntary actions and reflexes. But this does not positively say what a voluntary action is, and how the brain produces it. I will review three current ideas about volition, based on randomness, on value, and on problem-solving, respectively. I will discuss the relation between volition and consciousness, and I'll describe the difficulties of searching for neural correlates of volition in human experiments. I'll end with experimental EEG results suggesting that recent attempts to eliminate volition from neuroscience may be premature.