First Michael Egnor is wrong about there being no brain wave activity with free won’t Patrick Haggard in 2014 discovered accidotal brain waves to free won’tMichael Egnor, “Neuroscience refutes free will? Michael Egnor addresses an objection raised at Uncommon Descent” at Mind Matters News
Many neuroscientists have attempted to replicate the Libet-type button-pushing experiments but nearly all of them have used fMRI instead of measuring brain waves. That is the research Haggard and his collaborators have done, to which AaronS1978 referred.
But fMRI is worthless in the neuroscience of free will. To understand why, note that fMRI has very poor temporal resolution. fMRI measures changes in blood flow in the brain in response to activity of neurons, and these changes lag neuronal activity by at least several seconds. Peak fMRI response seems to occur about 6 seconds after neuronal activity occurs, and may persist for up to 40 seconds. fMRI is best though-of as a long-time exposure of brain activity rather than a snapshot, which the measurement of brain waves (EEG) provides. Libet’s experiments were using brain waves and the time interval in which the immaterial “free won’t veto” occurred was on the order of 200 milliseconds—1/5 of a second. fMRI is at least an order of magnitude too insensitive to timing to record this level of change, which is why it is worthless in the neuroscientific study of free will.
Libet’s work was the best—and essentially only—meaningful neuroscientific exploration of free will associated with timing of decisions to perform simple acts and his research clearly supports the reality of free will.Michael Egnor, “Neuroscience refutes free will? Michael Egnor addresses an objection raised at Uncommon Descent” at Mind Matters News
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See also: Neuroscience can help us understand why free will is real. Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder and biologist Jerry Coyne, who deny free will, don’t seem to understand the neuroscience.