So your response is that both things come from the brain, therefore are the same for our purposes, and here's a study about a slightly different matter in the hopes that no one will notice that it doesn't address the question.SEG wrote: ↑Fri May 17, 2019 6:22 amBoth CONSCIENCE AND CONSCIOUSNESS both are relevant to brain processes. Scientists have known for centuries that you can slice bits off a brain and you will lose perception, to the point where none remains. There are a multitude of those types experiments that have been done over the years, including these ones dealing with Neuroscience of free willShow me one circumstance in an existent being that has had thought processes scientifically recorded without a material brain. No brain equals no CONSCIENCE, no CONSCIOUSNESS and no thought.Libet experiment
A pioneering experiment in this field was conducted by Benjamin Libet in the 1980s, in which he asked each subject to choose a random moment to flick their wrist while he measured the associated activity in their brain (in particular, the build-up of electrical signal called the Bereitschaftspotential (BP), which was discovered by Kornhuber & Deecke in 1965). Although it was well known that the Bereitschaftspotential (sometimes also termed "readiness potential") preceded the physical action, Libet asked how the Bereitschaftspotential corresponded to the felt intention to move. To determine when the subjects felt the intention to move, he asked them to watch the second hand of a clock and report its position when they felt that they had felt the conscious will to move.
Libet's experiment: (0) repose, until (1) the Bereitschaftspotential is detected, (2-Libet's W) the volunteer memorizes a dot position upon feeling their intention, and (3) then acts.
Libet found that the unconscious brain activity leading up to the conscious decision by the subject to flick their wrist began approximately half a second before the subject consciously felt that they had decided to move. Libet's findings suggest that decisions made by a subject are first being made on a subconscious level and only afterward being translated into a "conscious decision", and that the subject's belief that it occurred at the behest of their will was only due to their retrospective perspective on the event.
The interpretation of these findings has been criticized by Daniel Dennett, who argues that people will have to shift their attention from their intention to the clock, and that this introduces temporal mismatches between the felt experience of will and the perceived position of the clock hand. Consistent with this argument, subsequent studies have shown that the exact numerical value varies depending on attention. Despite the differences in the exact numerical value, however, the main finding has held. Philosopher Alfred Mele criticizes this design for other reasons. Having attempted the experiment himself, Mele explains that "the awareness of the intention to move" is an ambiguous feeling at best. For this reason he remained skeptical of interpreting the subjects' reported times for comparison with their 'Bereitschaftspotential'.
Typical recording of the Bereitschaftspotential that was discovered by Kornhuber & Deecke in 1965). Benjamin Libet investigated whether this neural activity corresponded to the "felt intention" (or will) to move of experimental subjects.
In a variation of this task, Haggard and Eimer asked subjects to decide not only when to move their hands, but also to decide which hand to move. In this case, the felt intention correlated much more closely with the "lateralized readiness potential" (LRP), an ERP component which measures the difference between left and right hemisphere brain activity. Haggard and Eimer argue that the feeling of conscious will must therefore follow the decision of which hand to move, since the LRP reflects the decision to lift a particular hand.
A more direct test of the relationship between the Bereitschaftspotential and the "awareness of the intention to move" was conducted by Banks and Isham (2009). In their study, participants performed a variant of the Libet's paradigm in which a delayed tone followed the button press. Subsequently, research participants reported the time of their intention to act (e.g., Libet's "W"). If W were time-locked to the Bereitschaftspotential, W would remain uninfluenced by any post-action information. However, findings from this study show that W in fact shifts systematically with the time of the tone presentation, implicating that W is, at least in part, retrospectively reconstructed rather than pre-determined by the Bereitschaftspotential.
A study conducted by Jeff Miller and Judy Trevena (2009) suggests that the Bereitschaftspotential (BP) signal in Libet's experiments doesn't represent a decision to move, but that it's merely a sign that the brain is paying attention. In this experiment the classical Libet experiment was modified by playing an audio tone indicating to volunteers to decide whether to tap a key or not. The researchers found that there was the same RP signal in both cases, regardless of whether or not volunteers actually elected to tap, which suggests that the RP signal doesn't indicate that a decision has been made.
In a second experiment, researchers asked volunteers to decide on the spot whether to use left hand or right to tap the key while monitoring their brain signals, and they found no correlation among the signals and the chosen hand. This criticism has itself been criticized by free-will researcher Patrick Haggard, who mentions literature that distinguishes two different circuits in the brain that lead to action: a "stimulus-response" circuit and a "voluntary" circuit. According to Haggard, researchers applying external stimuli may not be testing the proposed voluntary circuit, nor Libet's hypothesis about internally triggered actions.
Libet's interpretation of the ramping up of brain activity prior to the report of conscious "will" continues to draw heavy criticism. Studies have questioned participants' ability to report the timing of their "will". Authors have found that preSMA activity is modulated by attention (attention precedes the movement signal by 100ms), and the prior activity reported could therefore have been product of paying attention to the movement. They also found that the perceived onset of intention depends on neural activity that takes place after the execution of action. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) applied over the preSMA after a participant performed an action shifted the perceived onset of the motor intention backward in time, and the perceived time of action execution forward in time.
Others have speculated that the preceding neural activity reported by Libet may be an artefact of averaging the time of "will", wherein neural activity does not always precede reported "will". In a similar replication they also reported no difference in electrophysiological signs before a decision not to move, and before a decision to move.
Despite his findings, Libet himself did not interpret his experiment as evidence of the inefficacy of conscious free will — he points out that although the tendency to press a button may be building up for 500 milliseconds, the conscious will retains a right to veto any action at the last moment. According to this model, unconscious impulses to perform a volitional act are open to suppression by the conscious efforts of the subject (sometimes referred to as "free won't"). A comparison is made with a golfer, who may swing a club several times before striking the ball. The action simply gets a rubber stamp of approval at the last millisecond. Max Velmans argues however that "free won't" may turn out to need as much neural preparation as "free will" (see below).
Some studies have however replicated Libet's findings, whilst addressing some of the original criticisms. A recent study has found that individual neurons were found to fire 2 seconds before a reported "will" to act (long before EEG activity predicted such a response). Itzhak Fried replicated Libet's findings in 2011 at the scale of the single neuron. This was accomplished with the help of volunteer epilepsy patients, who needed electrodes implanted deep in their brain for evaluation and treatment anyway. Now able to monitor awake and moving patients, the researchers replicated the timing anomalies that were discovered by Libet and are discussed in the following study. Similarly to these tests, Chun Siong Soon, Anna Hanxi He, Stefan Bode and John-Dylan Haynes have conducted a study in 2013 claiming to be able to predict the choice to sum or subtract before the subject reports it.
William R. Klemm pointed out the inconclusiveness of these tests due to design limitations and data interpretations and proposed less ambiguous experiments, while affirming a stand on the existence of free will like Roy F. Baumeister or Catholic neuroscientists such as Tadeusz Pacholczyk. Adrian G. Guggisberg and Annaïs Mottaz have also challenged Itzhak Fried's findings.
A study by Aaron Schurger and colleagues published in PNAS challenged assumptions about the causal nature of the Bereitschaftspotential itself (and the "pre-movement buildup" of neural activity in general), thus denying the conclusions drawn from studies such as Libet's and Fried's. See The Information Philosopher and New Scientist for commentary on this study.
Timing intentions compared to actions
A study by Masao Matsuhashi and Mark Hallett, published in 2008, claims to have replicated Libet's findings without relying on subjective report or clock memorization on the part of participants. The authors believe that their method can identify the time (T) at which a subject becomes aware of his own movement. Matsuhashi and Hallet argue that this time not only varies, but often occurs after early phases of movement genesis have already begun (as measured by the readiness potential). They conclude that a person's awareness cannot be the cause of movement, and may instead only notice the movement.
Then you reverse the assertion and demand that I prove you wrong. As a floor exercise in mental gymnastics, I give it a 10, but as support for your assertion, I have to give it 0.