How plausible is it that conscious control is illusory?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Findings in a number of neuropsychological studies involving reports of decisions to initiate spontaneous movement (e.g., Fried, Mukamel, & Kreiman, 2011; Libet, Gleason, Wright, & Pearl, 1983; Soon, Brass, Heinze, & Haynes, 2008) are often interpreted as putting in question the reality of conscious control and, by extension, the time-honored concept of free will. I suggest that several problems with the basic paradigm used by most such studies, elaborated on in some recent articles (prominently Miller, Shepherdson, & Trevena, 2011, and Schurger, Sitt, & Dehaene, 2012), as well as some other arguments, raise doubt that conscious control is in fact a gratuitous byproduct of preconscious brain activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'How plausible is it that conscious control is illusory?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this