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Neurology of widely embedded free will.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21752362     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Free will is classically attributed to the prefrontal cortex. In clinical neurology, prefrontal lesions have consistently been shown to cause impairment of internally driven action and increased reflex-like behaviour. Recently, parietal contributions to both free selection at early stages of sensorimotor transformations and perception of specifically self-intended movements were demonstrated in the healthy brain. Such findings generated the concept that 'free will' is not a function restricted to the prefrontal cortex but is more widely embedded in the brain, indeed including the parietal cortex. In this paper, a systematic re-interpretation of parietal symptoms, such as apraxia and reduced sense of agency, is given with reference to the consequences of reduced freedom of selection at early stages of sensorimotor transformation. Failed selection between possible movement options is argued to represent an intrinsic characteristic of apraxia. Paradoxical response facilitation supports this view. Perception of self-intended movement corresponds with a sense of agency. Impaired parietal distinction between predicted and perceived movement sensations may thus equal a restricted repertoire for selection between possible movement options of which intention is attributed to either oneself, others or an alien hand. Sense of agency, and thus perception of free will, logically fits a model of the parietal cortex as a neuronal interface between the internal drive to reach a goal and a body scheme required to select possible effectors for motor preparation.
Authors:
Bauke M de Jong
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-6-22
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1973-8102     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-7-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0100725     Medline TA:  Cortex     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
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