Sunday, November 25, 2007


Scientists Point to Brain Region of ‘Free Won’t’

‘The capacity for free will is said to reside in the brain’s frontal lobes, which enable us to decide what actions we will take. Now researchers have discovered a spot in the frontal lobes that could be called the home of our “free won’t.”

The dorsal fronto-median cortex (dFMC), located in the center of the brain behind the forehead, becomes active when we inhibit an action, according to the authors of a paper in the Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers Marcel Brass and Patrick Haggard think this may explain why some people are less adept at restraining their impulses.

“The capacity to withhold an action that we have prepared but reconsidered is an important distinction between intelligent and impulsive behavior,” said Brass, of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences and of Ghent University. This could have significant neuroethical implications, the authors state in their paper, since the inability to restrain impulses has been linked to antisocial and criminal behavior.’

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