Answers With Joe

Do You Have Free Will? (Hint: Not Really)

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Do you make your own decisions? Science says maybe not. Not really, anyway.

Starting in the 1950s, neuroscientists turned to split brain surgery in an effort to cure epileptics with uncontrollable seizures. Split brain surgery cut the corpus callosum, a band of nerves that connects the two hemispheres of the brain.

By doing so, they discovered some amazing side effects that basically suggest that there are subconscious modules in your brain that make decisions without your conscious awareness, and an interpreter module in your brain that translates those decisions to your conscious brain.

These tests, performed by Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga, have brought up endless questions about how we make our decisions, who’s actually in charge in our brain, and whether we have actual free will.

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