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The biology of freedom
 

The biology of freedom

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Presentation on the neurobiology of behavioral freedom and free will.

Presentation on the neurobiology of behavioral freedom and free will.

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  • Daniel Wegner, The Illusion of Conscious Will (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002).Ted Honderich, How Free Are You (Oxford, Oxford U. Press, 2002)Richard Double, The Non-Reality of Free Will (New York, Oxford U. Press, 1991)Saul Smilansky, Free Will and Illusion (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 2002)Derk Pereboom, Living Without Free Will (Cambridge, Cambridge U. Press, 2001)Nancy Murphey and Warren S. Brown, Did My Neurons Make Me Do It? (Oxford, Oxford U. Press, 2007)

The biology of freedom The biology of freedom Presentation Transcript

  • Freedom in biology: Selectingtherightactionattheright time
    Björn Brembs
    Freie Universität Berlin
    http://brembs.net
  • ‘Free Will’ does not exist
  • CartesianDualism
  • Interactionism
  • Dualism
    Noempiricalsupport
  • Reductionism
    “Mental states are always brain states, meaning physical states”
    Hans Flohr, neurobiologist
  • Behavioral Freedom
    “We could often have done otherwise than we in fact did”
    Searle 1984
  • Behavioral Freedom
    “I could have done otherwise”
    Taylor & Dennett 2002
  • Behavioral Freedom
    “If we choose to remain at rest, we may; if we choose to move, we also may.”
    David Hume
  • Behavioral Freedom?
  • Behavioral Freedom?
  • Behavioral Freedom?
  • Behavioral Freedom?
  • Evitability
    “The freedom of the will consists in the impossibility of knowing actions that still lie in the future.”
    Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • Evitability
    Behavioral freedom is always situational!
  • DrosophilaTurningBehavior
    28.09.2011
    Björn Brembs, Freie Universität Berlin
    17
    Behavioralvariability in a constantstimulussituation: actions, not responses!
  • DrosophilaTurningBehavior
    28.09.2011
    Björn Brembs, Freie Universität Berlin
    18
    Behavioralvariability in a constantstimulussituation: actions, not responses!
  • Sakkade
    Basislinie
    DrosophilaTurningBehavior
  • Choice ornoise?
    Decisionsornoise in a complexsystem?
  • Inter-Saccade-Intervals(ISIs)
    Flies as random number generators?
    All computations by Alexander Maye, UKE Hamburg (Maye et al. 2007)
    Choice or Noise?
  • Choice or Noise?
    Geometric Random Inner Products: GRIP
    All computationsby Alexander Maye: Maye et al. (2007)
  • Choice or Noise?
  • Attractorof a non-linear system
  • Chance andNecessity!
  • Human Free Will
  • Spontaneity
    Whataretheevolutionaryadvantagesofspontaneousbehavioralvariability?
  • Inevitability: C-Start Responses
  • The RisksofInevitability
  • Pursuit-evasioncontests& competition (courtship, predator-prey, territoriality, chess, sports etc.)
  • Exploration (find thathiddenresourceyouwouldotherwisenever find.)
  • General brainfunction
    Action – Outcome Evaluation
  • Many Brains
    Scott E Page
    Groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers
    http://www.pnas.org/content/101/46/16385.long