Mind, Technology, and Society Talk Series


Peter Tse
Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth University
Time/Date: 3-4:30 p.m. Monday, March 16th, 2015

Location: Chancellor’s Conference Room, KL 232

Title: “Freeing free will of willusionism?”


Two main classes of experiments have been used to rule out free will (FW), Libet’s involving the readiness potential, and Wegner’s involving illusions of willing. I will challenge the relevance of these results to claims about FW by reviewing some recent experiments we did. I will end by arguing that the correct place to look for FW is not repetitive and meaningless hand movements, but instead the deliberative capacity to play out and weigh possible scenarios. I will end by considering likely neural bases of this capacity to imagine and then enact the imagined.

Bio (from http://www.gf.org/fellows/17689-peter-tse):
“Peter Ulric Tse is a professor of cognitive neuroscience at Dartmouth College, where he has been since 2001. His lab’s research focuses on using brain and behavioral data to constrain models of the neural bases of attention and consciousness, unconscious processing that precedes and constructs consciousness, mental causation, and human capacities for imagination and creativity. He grew up in New York City in the 1960s, studied physics and math at Dartmouth from 1980 to 1984, then left academia, working first as a school teacher in Nepal, and later as a businessman in Japan. He returned to America and academia in 1992 to study the brain and cognitive psychology, getting his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1998. From 1999 until 2001 he was a postdoctoral fellow in brain imaging at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tuebingen where he worked with macaques. He now lives in rural New Hampshire on a former farm with his wife and three children.”