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Benjamin Libet

  • 1. What does it mean to our experience of the world that sensory processing involves a half-second delay to reach consciousness? Suppose there was a drug that eliminated sensory processing delays. Would you notice any difference in how you perceived the world if you took it? Would you notice any difference in other people’s behavior?
  • 2. What does Libet’s demonstrations of how the brain reorders experiences of events in time tell us about perception? Suppose someone had a disorder that didn’t allow the brain to do any reordering. What would it be like? Would that person behave differently from others?
  • 3. What do Libet’s experiments on willed action establish? Do they show convincingly that we lack free will? Can you find any weaknesses in his experimental procedure? If so, what are they?

The Binding Problem

  • 1. What is the binding problem, and what does it have to do with our sense of reality? Can you think of examples when our brains fail to solve it?
  • 2. What are synesthetes? Can you give examples of how they might solve the binding problem differently from nonsynesthetes? Can you think of any advantages of certain forms of synesthesia?
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