death of the mind.

Allan C Cybulskie allan.c.cybulskie at
Sun Jul 18 17:15:20 EST 2004

"Sergio Navega" <snavega at> wrote in message
news:40f81fe3$1_7 at
> From: "Allan C Cybulskie" <allan.c.cybulskie at>
> >
> > It is NOT an a priori assumption, but is instead an empirical
> > 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
> to
> > do in advance and then do it.  It seems obvious to us that when I think
> "I'm
> > going to lift my arm and grab the CD" that it is that decision that
> > 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 interpretation of it actually remaining an issue is mine, not his ...

> 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).

That was pretty much my take on it ...

> 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.

Yep.  This is actually a problematic notion for people who think that
consciousness plays a role in our actions -- what's different between
deciding to take an action when we don't do it and deciding to take an
action and 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.

This is interesting ...

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