Article published in:New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness
Edited by Elaine K. Perry, Daniel Collerton, Fiona E.N. LeBeau and Heather Ashton
[Advances in Consciousness Research 79] 2010
► pp. 113–120
Noise in the brain, decision-making, determinism, free will, and consciousness
Noise caused by randomness in the spiking times of neurons in the brain has a number of advantages, including contributing to probabilistic decision-making. However, noise results in the brain operating effectively as a non-deterministic system, which has implications for free will. Noise also results in decisions being taken probabilistically between the reasoning system and the implicit reward system. I propose that free will can be used to describe the operation of the reasoning system, and that consciousness is a property of a reasoning system that must use higher order syntactic thoughts (HOSTs) to correct its first order thoughts. When the implicit system takes a decision, we may confabulate a reason for the decision, and in that case the feeling of free will may be an illusion.
Published online: 28 October 2010
Cited by 1 other publications
Rolls, Edmund T.
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