Worst Idea Ever: The Human Brain “Decides” – NOT!

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This silly idea is wrong in so many ways it is hard to know where to start to demolish it.  But, then, like ideas about “gods”, miracles, life after death , “new and improved”, “Santa Claus is coming,” and the tooth fairy – why waste the time!?  Truthfully for people interested in facts, truth and problem-solving debunking the infinite nonsensical pop cultural and personal beliefs about the brain and behavior only wastes time.

If you want to claim imaginary things, free will, behavioral economics, neuroeconomics, the social science overall, deny science, believe in subjective, intuitive, naive realism and solipsism – have at it!  Deny global warming?  Great.  LOTS of real estate along the Atlantic Coast for sale – cheap.  Grab it now!

I will post a bit but, such a waste of time…Here is a place to start, I will be reading and digesting the papers…ugh…”So much science, so little time.”  http://neurosciencenews.com/neuroscience-choice-psychology-5239/

Bottom-line:

“These results challenge the traditional view of decision making. According to this view, decisions are formed in the prefrontal cortex and fronto-parietal cortex, brain regions that are associated with ‘higher’ brain functions that are essential for memory and problem solving. The motor cortex is seen as the structure merely executing the behaviour that those ‘higher’ brain regions have determined. Contrary to this view, Pape and Siegel’s findings suggest that the motor cortex also plays a role in informing decision-based behaviour.

Does that mean the way we respond to our environment is not a matter of choice after all? Do we just randomly ‘decide’ what to do based on the state our motor cortex happens to be in? Anna-Antonia Pape, who recorded and analysed the data, does not think so: “The effect is there, yes, but I wouldn’t link it to the question of free will by any means! Higher brain areas are still very important for the decision making process, but now we know that motor areas can tip the scales.”

The author is waffling on trashing free will but that seems like just playing to popular beliefs and prejudices.  If you were to ask him about the mechanics for any other species and bring up free will, he would say “Of course not!”  Instinctively.

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