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Conscious intention and brain activity

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Abstract:

The problem of free will lies at the heart of modern scientific studies of consciousness. An influential series of experiments by Libet has suggested that conscious intentions arise as a result of brain activity. This contrasts with traditional concepts of free will, in which the mind controls the body. A more recent study by Haggard and Eimer has further examined the relation between intention and brain processes, concluding that conscious awareness of intention is linked to the choice or selection of a specific action, and not to the earliest initiation of action processes. The exchange of views in this paper further explores the relation between conscious intention and brain activity.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL, Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, UK. Email:p.haggard@ucl.ac.uk

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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