death of the mind.

Sergio Navega snavega at
Fri Jul 16 13:26:55 EST 2004

From: "Allan C Cybulskie" <allan.c.cybulskie at>
> It is NOT an a priori assumption, but is instead an empirical observation.
> It appears to us that when we deliberate over a decision, and come to a
> conclusion as to what action to take, that the action taken is the one
> consistent with the decision and is determined by the decision we made.
> This holds particularly true for "delayed decisions", where I decide what
> do in advance and then do it.  It seems obvious to us that when I think
> going to lift my arm and grab the CD" that it is that decision that causes
> the action of my lifting my arm and grabbing the CD.

I'm not familiar with Staddon's work, but I take that this
interpretation requires further clarification. The news is that
our conventional "intuitive" approach of saying that decision
precedes action is really inaccurate. But it seems to me to be
equally wrong to propose that action precedes decision. What is
consensus today is that action/decision pairs are integrated
into the same unit (in other words, they are activated at the
same time). Besides, there are several processes that influence
this mechanism, one of them being inhibition. When one thinks
to lift one's arm to grab a CD, one has the option of
"just thinking it", without actually doing it. Several studies
verified that even in this consciously inhibited situation one
activates most of the motor areas involved in the grasping of
the object.

Sergio Navega.

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