The ambiguity of Libet’s intention reports: behavioral and EEG correlates

Bredikhin Dmitri

1st year Master's Student of "Cognitive Sciences and Technologies: From Neuron to Cognition" program, HSE

National Research University – Higher School of Economics

In the notable study (Libet, Gleason, Wright, & Pearl, 1983) it was shown that movement-preparatory brain activity precedes the reported time of conscious intention to move, which questions the causal role of human being’s decisions in initiating their actions. However, since the study was published, a lot of criticism has been addressed towards it. Thus, Dominik et al. (2017) provided behavioral evidence that the intention reports used in the study of Libet (1983) are invalid, being rather inferred by a participant than truly perceived. We claim that results obtained by Dominik (2017) may be interpreted ambiguously and it is electrophysiology analysis required to either confirm or reject Dominik’s conclusion. In the project being proposed, we are to replicate Dominik et al. (2017) study using EEG and EMG recording in an attempt to put an end to the neuroscientific discussion regarding free will.