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Does free will truly exist?
According to a new study, maybe not. It appears that we may have less control over our personal choices than we think. Unconscious brain activity seems to determine our choices well before we are even aware of them.
Researchers at the Future Minds Lab at UNSW School of Psychology in Australia were able to predict basic choices participants made BEFORE they consciously declared their decisions. Their findings were published last week in the journal Scientific Reports.
For the experiment, the researchers asked 14 participants to freely choose between two visual patterns – one of red horizontal stripes and one of green vertical stripes – before consciously imagining them while being observed in a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine (fMRI).
They were given a maximum of 20 seconds to choose between the patterns. Once they'd made a decision, they pressed a button and had 10 seconds to visualize the pattern as hard as the
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