FRENCH RESEARCHERS have found the place where the free will resides in the brain. Scientist, Angela Sirigu, who is a neuroscientist at the CNRS Cognitive Neuroscience Centre in Bron, said that the place lies towards the back of the human brain called the parietal cortex.
The findings have been based on the analysis of an experiment by Sirigu’s team which included Carmine Mottolese, on about seven patients who underwent brain surgery to remove the tumours.
The researchers discovered this spot when a neurosurgeon electrically jolted this area in patients undergoing surgery. They felt the desire to wriggle their finger, roll their tongue or move a limb. Stronger electrical pulses convinced the patients that they had actually performed these movements, in spite of their bodies remaining motionless.
Sirigu said that it tells us that there are specific brain regions that are involved in the consciousness of one’s movement. Out of the seven, in six cases the cancers were located far from the parietal cortex and other areas that Mottolese stimulated.
All the patients were awake during the surgery. The teamwork points to two brain areas involved in making the decision to move a limb and then execute the action.
These findings were published in the ’Science’ journal.