GRE Reading Comprehension
In the 1980s, neuroscientists studying the brain processes underlying our sense of conscious will compared subjects' judgments regarding their subjective will to move (W) and actual movement (M) with objective electroencephalographic activity called readiness potential, or RP. As expected, W preceded M: subjects consciously perceived the intention to move as preceding a conscious experience of actually moving. This might seem to suggest an appropriate correspondence between the sequence of subjective experiences and the sequence of the underlying events in the brain. But researchers actually found a surprising temporal relation between subjective experience and objectively measured neural events: in direct contradiction of the classical conception of free will, neural preparation to move (RP) preceded conscious awareness of the intention to move (W) by hundreds of milliseconds.
Based on information contained in the passage, which of the following chains of events would most closely conform to the classical conception of free will?
- A W followed by RP followed by M
- B RP followed by W followed by M
- C M followed by W followed by RP
- D RP followed by M infollowed by W
- E RP followed by W and M simultaneously
Correct Answer: A