PerspectiveNeuroscience

The Sources of Human Volition

Science  08 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5928, pp. 731-733
DOI: 10.1126/science.1173827

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Summary

Every day we make actions that seem to depend on our “free will” rather than on any obvious external stimulus. This capacity not only differentiates humans from other animals, but also gives us the clear sense of controlling our bodies and lives. It therefore forms a key element of our personal identity. However, such voluntary actions are a puzzle for modern neuroscience. Where do they come from? A study by Desmurget et al. (1) on page 811 of this issue reveals how the brain may produce our experience of initiating voluntary action.

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