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Volition and the readiness potential

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Abstract:

The readiness potential was found to precede voluntary acts by about half a second or more (Kornhuber & Deecke, 1965). Kornhuber (1984) discussed the readiness potential in terms of volition, arguing that it is not the manifestation of an attentional processes. Libet discussed it in relation to consciousness and to free will (Libet et al., 1983a,b; Libet, 1985; 1992; 1993). Libet asked the following questions: Are voluntary acts initiated by a conscious decision to act? Are the physiological facts compatible with the belief that free will determines our voluntary acts? What is the role of consciousness in voluntary action? In this paper I will discuss these questions and the answers that Libet gave to them.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: CPRJ, R. Lopez Quintas 100-605-I, 22460-010 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Publication date: 1999-08-01

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