Johns Hopkins University researchers are the first to glimpse the human brain making a purely voluntary decision to act.
Unlike most brain studies where scientists watch as people respond to cues or commands, Johns Hopkins researchers found a way to observe people’s brain activity as they made choices entirely on their own. The findings, which pinpoint the parts of the brain involved in decision-making and action, are now online, and due to appear in a special October issue of the journal Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.
“How do we peek into people’s brains and find out how we make choices entirely on our own?” asked Susan Courtney, a professor of psychological and brain sciences. “What parts of the brain are involved in free choice?”
The team devised a novel experiment to track a person’s focus of attention without using intrusive cues or commands.