Re: Libet: Mental Timing

From: Stevan Harnad (
Date: Thu Jan 25 1996 - 20:22:48 GMT

> From: "Liz Lee" <>
> Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 10:17:15 GMT
> nb> The idea of knowing what to do in a certain situation will increase the
> nb> speed (by potential neuron firing) to react in that situation.
> Surely if this is so, the readiness potential will be firing from at
> least the time the clock starts, because the subject will anticipate
> his own action after that time. The fact that the readiness potential
> only kicks in a very short time before the conscious decision to
> press the button is made (well after the clock starts) must prove that
> the potential comes before the subject is aware of it?

No proof in empirical science, but I tend to agree with Liz. The
Readiness Potential is not just an alertness, it is time-locked to
movement and generally viewed as correlating with the neural triggering
of the movement.

See the discussion of Libet in the Foundations Skywriting of the year
and Current Debates Skywriting of last year.

Chrs, S

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