Some Neurologists Jokingly consider Free Will as Free Won't.

Because of how they now believe Consciousness works.

"The prefrontal cortex is the latest structure to appear in the evolution of the brain, and is the structure that shows the greatest development between humans and our closest biological relatives. Furthermore, it is known to mediate a great deal of the abilities considered distinctly human, such as planning, reflection, and empathy, all of which apparently require conscious awareness. Surprisingly, however, a vast abundance of the projections that the prefrontal cortex sends back to more primitive, sub-cortical structures are inhibitory—they function largely to suppress activity in these regions. In fact, this has led several researchers to rethink the concept of free will and, somewhat amusingly, refer to it rather as “free won’t,” in that we are mainly choosing what not to do, of all of the responses recommended by sub-cortical structures. And this is where we might find a reason for conscious awareness."


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Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on October 17, 2013 at 8:37pm

Yes, Paxton, it very likely has such evolutionary advantages, love thy neighbor, even when he irritating and practically useless, to work together on developing a community, when you are tempted to bash him instead.  It demonstrates that "Love thy neighbor and even thy enemy are genetically and physically derived", certainly not products of divine law.

It also had a roll in that it allowed more time for scavenging, instead of instantly fleeing when a predator approached or a irate bird started returning to the nest, and also gave the option of rationalizing the position to stay and fight instead of fleeing, as we could then rationalize the situation better.

For instance, if we were scavenging a lions kill that they left to chase hyena's away, we could spend longer, gathering meat from it as normally we would flee on seeing the lion starting to return, but if we had the delay, (won't leave just yet), we could scavenge more productively, like we assess the situation and the lion may be injured from the conflict and may be defeated because of our ability to throw rocks and numbers, so we stay and defend the prize,. 

It has many such evolutionary benefits.

As does any taking extra time to consider a situation and change accordingly.

Comment by Paxton Marshall on October 17, 2013 at 6:36pm

Don't you think the "free won't" also developed because suppressing aggressive urges allowed greater cooperation and facilitated individual and group success?

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on October 13, 2013 at 4:26pm

Yes Idaho, I fell in love with a car when I was 19. LOL

I was over it in six months when the engine needed replacing, love of such things seems to end when they cause hassles.

As Marcela pointed out, the wish or sense of need (sometimes false) was in the mind beforehand and we simply turn off options when making a choice, rather than looking at more options.  When choosing a car, we often have a glorified sense of what we are looking for, but have to cut off many of these when reality kicks in and find many of those desires are out of reach of technology, available models and our pockets.

Maybe if I could afford to purchase that car as new, in mint condition, I may still be having a love affair with it.  Though I could only afford to purchase it after it had changed hands a few times and by users who badly abused it.

Comment by Idaho Spud on October 13, 2013 at 1:18pm

I guess that's why I like the movies "Toy Story" and "Cars".

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on October 13, 2013 at 2:13am

You are indeed right Marcela.

Apes, wolves and even meerkats have been known to exhibit Empathy to varying degrees.

Yet, humans are the only animals known (by current observations) to feel empathy for animals from other species when seen as injured, lost, beaten or deprived of food or affection. Humans even feel empathy for non-living items like cars.

Because the human brain attributes or maps consciousness models to lifeless objects.

We can make an animal do this by trickery in moving an object like a rock or a remote control vehicle and watch them try to examine it. The animal will for a very brief moment consider the object as living. Though once it prods and pokes to find no sign of life, it considers the unit lifeless and the consciousness model is dropped.

Yet, humans will see an inanimate object like a damaged vehicle and feel sorry for that vehicle as if it were another human.

Chimpanzees have been known to plan and same for the wild dogs, cheetahs and lions, in Africa who plan ambush tactics to trap prey.

Yet, humans plan much further ahead than any other creatures that only plan for the very short term goals, like catching prey. This is from a combination of planning and reflection.

We plan, reflect on cumulative outcomes of similar plans in the past and adjust the plan accordingly.

These human qualities and Free Won't appear to require a functional prefrontal cortex.

Damage to this region has been shown to damage these abilities.

In fact, damage to this region has caused complete personality changes.

Which has Neuroscientists considering a very strong link between the prefrontal cortex and Consciousness.

As was stated in my opening extract from that article.



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