Australian neuroscientists were able to predict the people's choice for 11 seconds before making their decisions

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2019-03-11 19:45:10

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Australian neuroscientists were able to predict the people's choice for 11 seconds before making their decisions

Freedom of the will, that is the person's ability to make informed choices regardless of the circumstances, from the point of view of neuroscience might look quite predictable. In the new study, the article which was in the journal Scientific Reports, a group of Australian scientists from the University of New South Wales were able to prove that the brain makes a choice between two alternatives long before people have time to realize it. Summary and conclusions results of Quartz.

The study involved 14 volunteers, each of which was placed in the apparatus for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Each person was tasked to look at two pictures: one with red horizontal lines and the other with green vertical. Then volunteers were asked to choose one of the pictures, limiting the decision time of 20 seconds. After selection, they had to press the appropriate button, and then within 10 seconds to try to mentally reproduce an image of the selected image as accurately as possible. The researchers then asked each person what he presented and how vivid was this image. Reply people also had buttons.

All this time, the brain activity of participants of the experiment were scanned with a tomograph. The observations allowed scientists to track the brain patterns of volunteer activity that are responsible for making their decisions, and to predict the decision of man, for 11 seconds before pressing the button. This result suggests that the brain makes the choice before the guy can realize, the researchers note.

The study's Lead author, Professor of cognitive neuroscience Joel Pearson says that this work shows that the beginnings of the thoughts are formed first in the subconscious and then become conscious in the form.

"We believe that when a person is faced with a choice of two or more alternatives, which you need to think about the original beginnings of thoughts already in the subconscious subcortical and represent a kind of unconscious hallucinations", — the researcher notes.

"as soon As our subconscious makes a choice about what you need to think further, the Executive parts of the brain choose that option thought, whose signal is stronger than the others. In other words, if there is any subconscious activity finds response in one of the proposed elections, the brain likely will choose this option among the proposed alternatives, since its signal is already amplified by a subconscious activity."

The Results of this study contribute to understand how our brains have negative thoughts, the researchers note. According to Pearson, his team conducted the study explains why certain thoughts lead to the fact that we are starting to think about something even more, which leads to an even greater number of thoughts on this issue. The fact is that at this point, our "subconscious mind creates a loop of positive feedback on a particular idea". The study also displays the assumption that negative memories, accompanied by visual images, such as in posttraumatic disorder originates in the unconscious thoughts.

This study — not only shows that our thoughts can be predicted long before their conscious manifestations. In the framework of previous works conducted by other groups of neurobiologists, the same methodology, observations showed that it is possible to predict choices, to physical actions for 7-10 seconds, until the brain a conscious decision and for 4 seconds until the abstract to make informed decisions. The purpose of all these studies is to show how the brain is able to complicate the very concept of free will.

Neuroscientists have long known that the brain is pre-prepared for mental activity even before the moment you realize that. And the transition between when the idea becomes conscious and your perception is just a few milliseconds. Those milliseconds give us the opportunity to consciously reject occurs in the subconscious impulses, thus creating the basis for freedom of informed choice.

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