Where is Subjective Experience in the Brain?

Brain - 3D illustration.Current science has no explanation for subjective experience. There isn’t even an adequate definition of consciousness. Recent research continues many approaches in attempts to find a brain region that is correlated with basic awareness or consciousness. In order to proceed without definitions, study attempts to find simple awareness without specific content.

But, recent findings show that for most mental events, almost the entire brain is part of wide circuits signaling in milliseconds. No modules have been found, including modules for awareness. In fact, integration of all regions seems to be more relevant than modules. As someone slips into coma and anesthesia, modules appear when people are definitely not conscious. When aware, more widespread integration appears. This post describes efforts to answer the question—where is subjective experience in the brain.

How to Do Research

B0005622 Enhanced MRI scan of the headThere has been no evidence of a center of the brain. Previous theories of what brain regions are necessary for consciousness did not pan out. An old disproven theory includes the frontal parietal region. Theories of gamma rays correlating with awareness are outmoded. But, the search continues in study of circuits, regions and brain waves. Perhaps brain waves in smaller regions may be relevant.

One way to start researching a question without a definition is to find minimum regions or circuits of brain that allow perception of any type or action that appears to have a purpose. With more ability to monitor the brain through imaging, many medical patients who cannot communicate or move (vegetative state) have been shown to be aware.

Recent research points to totally different regions than were considered before. Previously, evaluation and monitoring were intuitively considered important. But these do not seem to be necessary for simple awareness, but rather are part of a larger experience. It is possible that sensory regions are more primary, but this is not clear either.

bigstock Perceptions Different ways-of-thinking-43490413Perceptions have been described in previous posts. Surprisingly, more top down neurons modulate and determine results of sensory information than bottom up information input. The simplest part of having a perception of sound, sight, smell, or more complex emotions and thoughts, is just being awake and aware.

Brain regions for general awakeness are in midline brain. Previous theories of brain regions involved in awareness include cortex in the frontal and parietal regions. These also appear to be ancillary to the primary awareness. Gamma waves appear to be related to attention, not basic awareness. Recently, new research is finding other possible regions by studying vision and hearing.

To study seeing and hearing, subjects usually must answer questions about their ability to understand events. In the brain damage called blindsight, subjects might answer visual questions without being “aware” that they know what they are observing. Other ways to question subjects include scales where they note how certain they are of a particular observation. All of this involves subjectivity. The trick is trying to make objective observations out of subjectivity.

Content Versus Awareness

WC Nerve_fibres_in_a_healthy_adult_human_brain,_MRI_largerTo determine content, specific neuronal circuits are studied.

Some neurons are involved in specifying particular aspects of a perception – Type 1 neurons. This can be studied in part by stimulating specific neurons to see if they triggers colors, views, faces or other aspects of perception.

Other neurons—Type 2—appear to be related to the full experience without the details that are received from the other types of neurons. These neurons combine all the details from many neurons. Other centers allow both types to exist, such as supplying energy to neurons. These background centers provide the ability to perceive, without any content or experience.

Content Type 1 Neurons

FEATURE PERCEPTION Stock_000025237954SmallStudies compare activity with and without specific content, attempting to keep other variables the same. This is not easy. Many studies have included vision, such as presenting different stimuli to the right and left eye and studying which neurons fire. Many other types of studies are involved.

As a whole, these have identified neuronal networks in the frontal and parietal regions. These circuits are involved in measuring vision and movement tasks with stimuli that are real and not invisible. This research identifies many other factors that are not specifically regions for understanding perceptions. These factors are attention, distraction, planning and unconscious reactions. Complex research tries to get rid of each of these confounding variables to find the single conscious spot. Another problem with all of these studies is they involve subjective reports.

To try to identify Type 2 regions that pull an experience together, other study techniques are used. These compare general awareness with sleep, anesthesia and coma. These same regions in the frontal and parietal regions seem to be correlated in this research. But, these regions also are part of various levels of attention.

Comparing REM and Non REM sleep have been used to try to differentiate centers. These studies focus on different regions near the intersection of temporal, parietal and occipital regions for perceptions and a different frontal region for thoughts. Specific high frequency brain waves appear to be associated with specific experiences during dreaming, including visual information, movement and speech.

A region in the posterior brain is the focus of a number of these studies and is the same found in Type 1 centers. This posterior region has therefore become a focus of the search for neuronal centers related to conscious experience of a perception.

Brain Regions

N0019654 NORMAL ANATOMY, BRAIN, RIGHT HEMISPHERE Credit: Medical Art Service, Munich /. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org AND HIPPOCAMPUS Normal Anatomy, Brain, Right Hemisphere and Hippocampus Colour artwork, Nervous System, MEDIUM FORMAT. Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc-nd 4.0, see http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/page/Prices.html

There are many brain regions that don’t directly contribute to experience of specific subjective content. Damage to the large cerebellum doesn’t affect perception experiences much, if at all. Recently, a woman in China was identified who had no cerebellum at all. With neuroplasticity, she was fairly normal until adulthood, when it was randomly noted in a physical examination.

Brainstem damage is devastating to all experience. It appears that brainstem and hypothalamus are background regions necessary for subjective experience, but not involved in awareness, the content or experience. Even subcortical regions that modulate content are not really necessary in sleep.

Many regions determine emotional states, but aren’t the experience of an emotion. Basal ganglia damage decreases motivation and emotion. But even with extensive damage and some cognitive deficits, patients can be aware with subjective experience. Another region under the insula cortex has been studied for its relation to subjective experience. Several case reports of damage to this area have conflicting results and one had awareness and subjective experience.

Thalamus integrates sensory data. Studies show lesions cause decreased motor ability and poor communication. They can cause coma or not and they have conflicting results about awareness. There doesn’t seem to be a direct correlation with the content of awareness.

Cortex layers cropStudies of cortex regions are complex. Primary visual regions appear to be related to identification of visual stimuli, not its content. Higher regions co relate to the content not the stimulus.

Studies show inconsistent results in the primary visual region (V1). Lesions in V1 produce unconscious awareness of vision called blindsight. They perform as if they see it but don’t have the experience of seeing it. Other lesions show that V1 is not sufficient for conscious perception of sights. Other primary sensory regions for touch and hearing have not had extensive research.

Another theory is that frontal cortex is related to conscious perception and dorsal unconscious and with movements. But, research shows that both are necessary for visual subjective awareness. Findings about the frontal parietal cortex are inconsistent. Consciousness doesn’t need a frontal lobe. Even lobectomies don’t stop subjective experience. Other lesions in the frontal region leave subjective experience, while affecting particular cognitive abilities. (see post on frontal lobe).

Posterior Cortex

From Was a bee

From Was a bee

Studies of loss of consciousness find the posterior medial cortex most correlated with awareness.

Studies of posterior cortex of several types relate it to subjective experience of content. Some provide stimuli and see relations of expectations and performance. Sleep studies also point to this region. During dreaming, frontal activity is low compared to awake states. fMRI studies show activity in these regions that correlate with visual stimuli as well. Electrical stimulation of brain regions also shows triggering of specific experiences with posterior cortex. These include faces and wanting to move.

Neuronal responses of scenes and people rapidly travel through many brain regions (in 100 milliseconds). This includes multiple parts of the cortex visual systems. It also includes more top down neurons related to perception. These complex feedback circuits appear to be necessary for subjective experience.

Are Particular Neurons Involved?

From Selket

From Selket

There have been suggestions that particular large neurons (von Economo neurons) in cortex layer 5 are related to subjective experience. These neurons are also called spindle neurons. But, recent studies show that these may be more related to unconscious behavior.

Thin tufted pyramidal cells in layer 5A and 6 are connected heavily to many cortical regions. Even more connected are supra granular pyramidal neurons, with many feedback connections. These neurons also have a unique spontaneous activity (called neuronal avalanches) that could relate to integration of experience content. In animals, this region is correlated with sensory awareness.

Brain Waves and Evoked Potentials

BrainwavesFor some time, gamma waves in visual cortex have been thought to be related to subjective awareness in vision. Waves were thought to bind details to an experience with synchronous oscillations in the gamma range. More recent studies show high frequency gamma waves more related to attention and middle range to whether the stimulus is seen or not. Gamma waves occur in NREM sleep, anesthesia, seizures and unconscious experience. This new data shows gamma waves are not necessary for visual experience and are not correlated with awareness.

Evoked potentials are another way to study brain responses. Another possible marker of consciousness was thought to be a particular evoked potential. P3b occurs 300 milliseconds after a stimulus of sight or hearing. More recent data show some subjective content do not trigger it and sometimes it is triggered without content. Conscious patients with damaged brains don’t have it. 40% of coma patients have it. Findings are not at all consistent.

Recently, another evoked potential has emerged as possibly related. This is 100 milliseconds after a stimulus and is in the same posterior cortex region as the other possible candidates.

EEG_capAnother finding on EEG is also being studied. This is called activated or desynchronized EEG and occurs during attention. It consists of low voltage fast activity and deep sleep’s high voltage slow activity. Loss of consciousness occurs at the same time as thalamic switching from tonic to bursts of firing.

Slow waves are related to cortex switching on and off up and down states. Those subcortical brain regions changes occur with decrease of activating systems. High amplitude slow waves are related to loss of consciousness. Changes in the waves occur in transition from coma to barely conscious and then awake causing delta to theta to alpha. But, it is not clear this reflects awareness. Slow waves can occur in conscious people in epilepsy.

Previous studies have tried to correlate whole brain recordings to consciousness. But, local patterns may be more relevant. Sleep cortex can be activated while whole brain EEGs have only slow waves. Local activation in the parietal occipital region is related to visual dreams and then awakening.

Recent EEG studies show that there are many possible local events in conscious people. There are fewer variations when unconscious. Also consciousness might involve more integrated states rather than different modules with various activities.

Where is Subjective Experience in the Brain?

2D Mri Brain Image with 6mm Pituitary TumorMost current approaches to finding places in the brain related to consciousness or awareness do not corroborate old theories of networks in the frontal parietal regions. Recent research is focused on activity in a much more narrow region near the overlap of the temporal-parietal-occipital regions. Some of these appear to be triggered by content of awareness—such as faces. The older larger circuits appear related to attention focused on particular areas, not simple awareness.

In fact, most regions of the brain have something to do with awareness and consciousness, but this doesn’t qualify them as a location of consciousness.

There is still no understanding of how subjective experience binds together all that is part of our daily experience of awareness. Most events in the brain involve large brain wide circuits traversed in milliseconds. Just this week, a study implied meaning of words is not in a language center, but distributed throughout the entire brain. The same is true for memory, which appears to be very distributed.

Some pre frontal regions are related to experiences of various types. Default mode circuits appear to be related to day dreaming and identity, not simple awareness. Other similar frontal regions have nothing directly to do with consciousness. With so much top-down effects in perception, it is not clear how much sensory regions contribute to simple awareness. Brainstem reticular formation and parts of the thalamus help create the necessary activation of circuits for awareness but are not awareness per se.

No brain region simply reflects consciousness. Some regions are correlated with content of awareness. For now, this search will continue with no definition of consciousness or subjective experience. We are left with our every day experience.

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  • Roy Niles

    OK, I’ll have a go at it: Subjective experience is actually conscious experience to the functional area of the brain that’s objectively experiencing it. And when you talk of awareness, you’re speaking of a functional system that’s conscious of what it’s doing, even though the human that may know, consciously, that his or her physical and mental functions are aware, cannot be conscious of that awareness unless the functional system is one of the many that he or she has that operatively require conscious knowledge.
    The functions, for example, that have evolved to allow us to speak must allow our executive systems to be conscious of the meanings and purposes behind that speech, because we are dealing with expected reactions to that meaningful communication from various individuals and other things without rather than within our bodies, just as we’re conscious of our hearing, feeling, tasting, seeing, etc., sensory equipment, which serve the same overall inward and outward awareness purposes.
    As do our various functional systems that go awry and give us conscious pain. And as food in our stomachs is used in ways that often continue to give us conscious pleasure. And then of course there’s sex, the conscious pleasures that most of us seek to find on many functional levels, arguably with our subconscious “brain” dreaming of sexual activity even more than most of us can do consciously.
    One could write a book about every purposive thing that every cell of our body does and is not only aware of doing, but is conscious of intelligently choosing what it needs to do, except of course that one would need first to be a biologist to correctly do that, and I’m not. I’m an evolutionist that believes we need all of the above aspects of awareness and more to self-evolve our conscious selves. But that’s a story for another post.
    (I’m sure this off the cuff thing needs editing, but it’s late and I need sleep.)

    • Re: “One could write a book about every purposive thing that every cell of our body does and is not only aware of doing, but is conscious of intelligently choosing what it needs to do, except of course that one would need first to be a biologist to correctly do that…”

      The book is “The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality” http://www.amazon.com/The-Scent-Eros-Mysteries-Sexuality/dp/059523383X (1995 / 2002) My co-author was a biology teacher, and I am a medical laboratory scientist who supplied most of the facts after 10 years of reviewing the extant literature.

      • Roy Niles

        Again, what does that book have to do with the subject of this post? Nothing.

      • Roy Niles

        Again, what does that book have to do with the subject of this post? Nothing.

  • Thank you for continuing to address complex issues that others must dismiss because they are too complex. For example, both these recently published articles come from Marc Vidal’s group.

    1) Widespread Expansion of Protein Interaction Capabilities by Alternative Splicing http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2016.01.029

    2) An inter‐species protein–protein interaction network across vast evolutionary distance http://msb.embopress.org/content/12/4/865 o

    Excerpt: “…leaving aside the complexity of human alternatively spliced isoforms, our yeast–human inter‐species interactome (YHII‐1) network suggests that the yeast and human proteomes could mediate 10’4–10’5 biophysical inter‐species interactions (Fig 2D).”

    As everyone knows who has followed your blog posts, you wrote: Alternative RNA Splicing in Evolution (2012). http://jonlieffmd.com/blog/alternative-rna-splicing-in-evolution

    I’ve quoted you often.
    Excerpt: “…alternative splicing may be the critical source of evolutionary changes differentiating primates and humans from other creatures such as worms and flies with a similar number of genes.”

    Nearly 50,000 published works now link nutrient-dependent microRNA flanking sequences from alternative splicings to our supercoiled DNA via everything known to serious scientists about RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions and cell type differentiation in species from microbes to humans.

    Yet, Vidal’s group seems to want others to ignore complexity of how RNA-mediated cell type differentiation links the yeast and human proteomes via mediation of 10’4–10’5 biophysically constrained nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled inter‐species interactions. I think that scientists who encourage others to ignore the complexity of interactions among species that lead to all biodiversity also encourage people like Roy Niles to comment here. Ignorance begets ignorance and by the time the trickle-down effect gets from Vidal to Niles all intelligence and all common sense is gone.

    • Roy Niles

      What does any of that linkage garbage have to do with the questions posed here concerning biological awareness? Nothing, as usual.

      • You asked me a question, and then answered it based on what you know. That’s too much foolishness, Roy. Man-up and learn something about biologically-based cause and effect. Ranier Friedrich’s group just linked olfaction from quantum physics to cell type differentiation and human consciousness via what is known about innate immune system function that links angstroms to ecosystems.

        • Roy Niles

          Well I guess if you want to link your non-awareness to awareness then that’s what links are unaware for.

          • See also the links in this representation of what is currently known about how to link metabolic networks to genetic networks in all living genera: http://www.asbmb.org/asbmbtoday/201603/JournalNews/JLRCancer/

          • Roy Niles

            Yes those were actual scientists with academic credentials who actually explained in detail how those causative connections actually do their work.
            You have no academic credentials and have done no such experiments nor do you have any idea how biological causation has actually been evolved to work. You seem to have assumed that a link is a form of cause because a cause is a form of link.
            But then again, I don’t care, if you don’t.

          • Top-down causation did not “evolve to work.” There is no model for that! There are only the works of Einstein, Schrodinger, and Dobzhansky that I use in my model of how the sun’s anti-entropic virucidal energy is linked to all cell type differentiation by the biophysically constrained protein folding chemistry that leads to the physiology of reproduction and supercoiled DNA that protects all organized genomes from virus-driven entropy.

          • Roy Niles

            That’s Kohl-ly ridiculous as usual. All biological systems were evolved to work, whether by the Darwinian suppositions or by the self evolving versions of modern evolutionary theory.
            You don’t use anything in your model that explains how anything is caused, and neither Einstein nor Schrodinger had any theories that are remotely similar to yours. (Although Schrodinger’s theories of life were almost equally goofy.)
            And no biological cat was ever dead and alive at the same time, but you’ve never understood that, have you.
            I did hear of a cat once that protected its organized genome from virus-driven entropy.
            But it had to live in a Chinese room to do so.
            But then it wasn’t Schrodinger’s.

          • In one of my poster presentations, I cited the works that linked Einstein’s math to Schrodinger’s claims about the anti-entropic energy of the sun and Dobzhansky’s claims about energy-dependent amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types in all individuals of all living genera.

          • Roy Niles

            Perhaps if you knew what genera actually means you would have cited the works of L Frank Baum.

          • Top-down causation did not “evolve to work.” There is no model for that! There are only the works of Einstein, Schrodinger, and Dobzhansky that I use in my model of how the sun’s anti-entropic virucidal energy is linked to all cell type differentiation by the biophysically constrained protein folding chemistry that leads to the physiology of reproduction and supercoiled DNA that protects all organized genomes from virus-driven entropy.

    • the_professeur

      I’d have to ask you to explain what the above articles have to do with the subject at hand, as I could not find any correlation.

      • Roy Niles

        Kohl doesn’t need correlation, he’s got links.

        • I have a model of biologically-based cause and effect that link energy-dependent changes in base pairs from angstroms to ecosystems in all living genera.

          • Roy Niles

            Of course you do.

          • Yes. As you know I have presented it in a series of short video representations of posters presented at a Neuroscience conference and a Molecular Diagnostics confernece. See for example.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K35THJtlhoE

          • Roy Niles

            Yes, you had nine comments, all made by you. There were no explanations of a scientific nature anywhere in either the posters or those comments, and no evidence that anyone at any so-called neuroscience conference did anything except laugh at it.

      • Why are you looking for correlations instead of examining biologically-based cause and effect. Are you a theorist? Most serious scientists don’t try to explain anything to theorists. Please explain a little about your background and what you have accomplished in the past in the context of correlations.

    • the_professeur

      I’d have to ask you to explain what the above articles have to do with the subject at hand, as I could not find any correlation.

  • the_professeur

    A recent article, “What Neuroscience Says about Free Will” also spilled some light on this subject. Check out http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/what-neuroscience-says-about-free-will/

    “It remains to be seen just how much the postdictive illusion of choice that we observe in our experiments connects to these weightier aspects of daily life and mental illness. The illusion may only apply to a small set of our choices that are made quickly and without too much thought.

    Or it may be pervasive and ubiquitous—governing all aspects of our
    behavior, from our most minute to our most important decisions. Most likely,
    the truth lies somewhere in between these extremes. Whatever the case may be, our studies add to a growing body of work suggesting that even our most seemingly ironclad beliefs about our own agency and conscious experience can be dead wrong.”

    • Roy Niles

      Well something else is always influencing our decisions, but in the end the parts of our thinking systems that have made the final choice, stupid, or misguided, or what, are the only things that are going to be aware of making it. (Those like Kohl who automatically repeat their mantras without thinking may be the exception.)

    • IntelligentAnimation

      It would be a mistake for anyone to read that article and think that neuroscience says there is no such thing as free will.

      First, it is not what “neuroscience” thinks. It is what a couple of fringe scientists looked at 20 years ago without gaining any traction and a couple more are looking at it now. They by no means constitute a consensus and yet nobody is going to write a paper stating that free will exists because it is rather obvious and not newsworthy.

      The subtitle is not demonstrated at all:

      “We’re convinced that it exists, but new research suggests it might be nothing more than a trick the brain plays on itself.”

      This reminds me of Dan Dennett claiming that consciousness doesn’t exist, and using as his only argument the fact that there are such things as optical illusions. At least these guys have a relevant illusion, but anybody taking the “evidence is an illusion” position has a tall uphill mountain to climb to show it.

      This test did not overturn free will, nor is that possible. They are able to trick people by pressuring them into quick decisions where they can be slightly influenced by a circle turning red. They may even be unaware of the subconscious split second influence.

      Even in the worst case scenario of their test, however, the majority of responses maintained free will selections against influence. Thus there is no question free will exists even at that level of trickery and milliseconds to decide.

      On the slower tests, they matched the 20% number that free will would expect to show. Thus, they exercised free will always, except in a minority of the trickery cases. Pressing a circle as it turns red in a split second attempt to guess which one will turn red – and then not being aware that you had that bias – does not mean that every act of free will in our daily lives is an “illusion”.

      They say it “may be pervasive and ubiquitous” but their own tests say otherwise.

      If I go to the store to buy a shirt and I pick out one I like for an occasion, none of this is an “illusion” of free will. I can pre-determine that I am going to get in the car and do this and then it happens. This correlation between deciding and doing is not a coincidence. I take plenty of time – not ,milliseconds – to choose which shirt to buy, weighing multiple factors in my choice.

      None of it is an “illusion”, nor are literally hundreds of other free will choices of my day.

      There is a correlation between me thinking I made a decision and me actually acting out on those apparent decisions. If free will does not perfectly well explain that correlation, then what replaces free will? Random chemical reactions that cause involuntary thought or muscle movement?

      If so, then what explains the correlations between my supposedly automatonic actions and generally helpful and wise outcomes? Why did I not go to the hardware store and buy a chisel to wear to my occasion instead of a shirt? What is the source of such obvious intelligent decisions if free will is an illusion?

      And how am I “tricking” myself when I had – not milliseconds – but all afternoon to decide things?

      Sorry, but this denial of free will is complete garbage. They did not show that “seemingly ironclad beliefs about our own agency and conscious experience can be dead wrong.”

      Materialists really need to get the hell out of biology and stop infesting it with their religious beliefs that go against mountains of evidence. Trillions of organisms make trillions of movements a day that somehow are almost always functional and efficiently so.

      The idea that any part of life can function intelligently by chemical luck without free will is asenine insanity, not science.

    • IntelligentAnimation

      It would be a mistake for anyone to read that article and think that neuroscience says there is no such thing as free will.

      First, it is not what “neuroscience” thinks. It is what a couple of fringe scientists looked at 20 years ago without gaining any traction and a couple more are looking at it now. They by no means constitute a consensus and yet nobody is going to write a paper stating that free will exists because it is rather obvious and not newsworthy.

      The subtitle is not demonstrated at all:

      “We’re convinced that it exists, but new research suggests it might be nothing more than a trick the brain plays on itself.”

      This reminds me of Dan Dennett claiming that consciousness doesn’t exist, and using as his only argument the fact that there are such things as optical illusions. At least these guys have a relevant illusion, but anybody taking the “evidence is an illusion” position has a tall uphill mountain to climb to show it.

      This test did not overturn free will, nor is that possible. They are able to trick people by pressuring them into quick decisions where they can be slightly influenced by a circle turning red. They may even be unaware of the subconscious split second influence.

      Even in the worst case scenario of their test, however, the majority of responses maintained free will selections against influence. Thus there is no question free will exists even at that level of trickery and milliseconds to decide.

      On the slower tests, they matched the 20% number that free will would expect to show. Thus, they exercised free will always, except in a minority of the trickery cases. Pressing a circle as it turns red in a split second attempt to guess which one will turn red – and then not being aware that you had that bias – does not mean that every act of free will in our daily lives is an “illusion”.

      They say it “may be pervasive and ubiquitous” but their own tests say otherwise.

      If I go to the store to buy a shirt and I pick out one I like for an occasion, none of this is an “illusion” of free will. I can pre-determine that I am going to get in the car and do this and then it happens. This correlation between deciding and doing is not a coincidence. I take plenty of time – not ,milliseconds – to choose which shirt to buy, weighing multiple factors in my choice.

      None of it is an “illusion”, nor are literally hundreds of other free will choices of my day.

      There is a correlation between me thinking I made a decision and me actually acting out on those apparent decisions. If free will does not perfectly well explain that correlation, then what replaces free will? Random chemical reactions that cause involuntary thought or muscle movement?

      If so, then what explains the correlations between my supposedly automatonic actions and generally helpful and wise outcomes? Why did I not go to the hardware store and buy a chisel to wear to my occasion instead of a shirt? What is the source of such obvious intelligent decisions if free will is an illusion?

      And how am I “tricking” myself when I had – not milliseconds – but all afternoon to decide things?

      Sorry, but this denial of free will is complete garbage. They did not show that “seemingly ironclad beliefs about our own agency and conscious experience can be dead wrong.”

      Materialists really need to get the hell out of biology and stop infesting it with their religious beliefs that go against mountains of evidence. Trillions of organisms make trillions of movements a day that somehow are almost always functional and efficiently so.

      The idea that any part of life can function intelligently by chemical luck without free will is asenine insanity, not science.

      • Roy Niles

        I agree.