Libet and Free Will Revisited

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

One of the best known of all neuroscience studies is the ‘free will experiment’ conducted by Benjamin Libet and colleagues in 1983.

Libet et al. asked volunteers to tap their fingers at will, freely choosing the time of each action. EEG revealed an electrical potential occuring “several hundred milliseconds” before people reported a conscious decision to perform each tap.

This “Readiness Potential” or Bereitschaftspotential threatened to debunk the very existence of human volition. Libet’

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