The Cycle of Action: A commentary on Garry Young (2006)
As the emphasis in the title of his article indicates, Garry Young (2006) wishes to retain a role for conscious intention in the initiation of intentional acts, a proposal he contrasts with the findings and writings of Benjamin Libet, and also my own comments upon the latter (Libet et al., 1983; Spence, 1996). While Libet's classic series of experiments (and their replication by others) established that the conscious intention to act is itself preceded by predictive trains of electrical activity in the brain, Young wishes to attribute a meaningful role to intention even though it arises relatively 'late' in the stream of causation. He believes intention makes a contribution. The question here, or at least the source of perceived disagreement, seems to be: what is the nature of this contribution? Also, are we talking about a single act or the context within which it (action) occurs?
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2006