Physiology of Free Will

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Abstract

Free will is a perception that people have that they choose to make their movements. This perception includes a sense of willing the movement and self-agency that they are responsible for the movement. If there is a “free will force” that plays a role in movement selection, it should precede movement. There is no evidence for a driving force, and the perception of willing is not fully processed until after the movement. The perceptions of free will likely arise from an interaction between frontal and parietal areas. Free will might be considered to exist if a person's brain is functioning normally without coercion. Ann Neurol 2016;80:5–12

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