In The Field

World Science Festival: The meaning of free will

Posted on behalf of Richard Van Noorden Two years ago, psychologist Daniel Wegner received surgery to remove a brain tumour. Surgeons drilled into the left side of his skull. Six weeks after the successful operation, he says, he found his right hand moving without him seeming to will it. It did what he wanted – as he would have decided in ordinary circumstances. “But I did not feel I was the author of the movement. I didn’t need to be there for my hand to move; I had lost the feeling that I was doing it.” At an entrancing World 


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