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May 27, 2007

Your Brain Thinks Before You Do

Posted in: brainwaves,reality,subconscious

Ben posted a link to an article in his comment which I have seen before, but I had forgotten about until recently. The article is about a study relating to the brain’s activity during tasks. The whole point of the article can be summed up with this quote:

there are telltale signs in the brain of [their] action 1/2 second before the person realizes they’ve even made a decision.

I remember seeing this article a while ago, and the implications are still very profound. If the brain reacts before somebody actually acts, does this mean that you really don’t have free will over your actions? Does it mean that there is some form of time dilation in our perception of our thoughts and our actions? Or perhaps there there is more to the mind then the brain. All of these explanations are quite intriguing.

Some other interesting points from the article:

“There is a short window of around 1/10 of a second after an idea becomes conscious in which a person can squelch it. Otherwise, it procedes.”

“Also, when we speak, we generally are not aware of the words we are about to say, but rather have the gist in mind, and allow our unconscious to come up with the words.”

“Libet has shown that, in general, it takes about 1/2 second for information in our environment to become conscious.”

Do you have any other ideas about how this could be explained?

-Hatter

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