Monday, February 15, 2016

Free 'Wont't'

Recently, neuroscientists at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin devised an experiment to find out. They used a ‘duel’ game between human brains and a brain-computer interface (BCI). The idea was to evaluate whether or not a person could alter a movement after the readiness potential (RP) for a movement has already been triggered. In other words, are humans able to stop planned movements (under conscious control). State-of-the-art measurement techniques revealed that research subjects could control their actions for much longer than previously thought--but that there‘s a ‘point of no return’ in the decision-making process [at about 200 milliseconds after the Readiness Potential], after which cancellation of movement is no longer possible. According to research-team leader, Professor John-Dylan Haynes PhD, a person’s decisions are not at the mercy of unconscious and early brain waves. Humans are able to actively intervene in the decision-making process and interrupt a movement. The key is to become aware of a thought and impulse as quickly as possible and choose ‘yes’ to follow through with it or ‘no’ to make a different choice.

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