Do we have free will?

It is a common notion that humans inherently have free. But do we really? see for instance how a person became a sexual offender due to a brain tumor, this and another case can be found on video (video included) here. Also it has been shown that people decide to move only after their brain’s motor areas prepare for a movement.

But even more intriguing is the fact that a personality can change drastically due to various reasons . Chemicals can alter our perception of the world, behavior, feelings, intelligence, and eventually our decision making. Knowing all this, how could we ever claim to have free will? To what extent is it an illusion? And what meaning is there to our “personality” if it can be changed by external means?

Oftentimes, religious philosophers claim that our soul goes to heaven or hell or somewhere else. There is no way to counter the claim that a non-physical soul exists, but if this soul has no inherent memory, no real control of it’s actions, and no perception of the world – all actions are performed physically in the brain – then what does it have? And what interest do we have in it’s endeavors post vite?

Change blindness or “the coolest experiment ever”

Chris from Mixing Memory describes
the coolest experiment ever, about change blindness, the most common tool of any stage magician: When the audience are concentrated on one thing, they won’t notice changes in other areas. Experiment is none the less astounding.

Intro to the brain – a video lecture series

A nice introduction to the workings of the brain

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Happiness, Algebra and problematic assumptions

Maybe here you will find happiness?

Positive thinking

The brain is an adaptive machine. It has been shown that meditation (specifically one that focuses on sensations) can increase the size of brain regions associated with attention and perception. Likewise, it can be assumed that living your life with focus on different things could lead to increasing in various areas of the brain. This actually coincides well with the self organizing theories mentioned in a previous post about the conscious observer.

How do you live your life? Do you focus on the things that you want to develop? Or do you constantly focus on the negative aspects – problems, unfulfilled desires, etc.? Which parts of your brain do you activate more and thus grow?

Depressed?

Why don’t you just try thinking faster?

Have you seen my conscious observer?

Recent findings in NeuroScience strongly imply that there is no central point of consciousness in the brain. This is because different parts of the brain deal with different actions in a disjoint manner, i.e.: While there is heavy processing of visual perception, there is no activity in the “introspective” area of the brain, and vice versa. This shows us that there is no central “observer” in the brain, but rather we experience different things due to brain activity in different regions.

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