Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Conscious Cogn. 2017 Mar;49:255-263. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2017.01.017. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Libet's experiment: Questioning the validity of measuring the urge to move.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Palacký University Olomouc, Vodární 6, Olomouc, Czech Republic. Electronic address: tomas.dominik01@upol.cz.
2
Department of Psychology, Palacký University Olomouc, Vodární 6, Olomouc, Czech Republic. Electronic address: daniel.dostal@upol.cz.
3
Department of Medical Ethics and Humanities, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Plzeňská 130/221, Prague, Czech Republic. Electronic address: martin.zielina@lfmotol.cuni.cz.
4
Department of Psychology, Palacký University Olomouc, Vodární 6, Olomouc, Czech Republic. Electronic address: jan.smahaj@upol.cz.
5
Department of Psychology, Palacký University Olomouc, Vodární 6, Olomouc, Czech Republic. Electronic address: zuzana.sedlackova@upol.cz.
6
Department of Psychology, Palacký University Olomouc, Vodární 6, Olomouc, Czech Republic. Electronic address: roman.prochazka@upol.cz.

Abstract

The time of subjectively registered urge to move (W) constituted the central point of most Libet-style experiments. It is therefore crucial to verify the W validity. Our experiment was based on the assumption that the W time is inferred, rather than introspectively perceived. We used the rotating spot method to gather the W reports together with the reports of the subjective timing of actual movement (M). The subjects were assigned the tasks in two different orders. When measured as first in the respective session, no significant difference between W and M values was found, which suggests that uninformed subjects tend to confuse W for M reports. Moreover, we found that W values measured after the M task were significantly earlier than W values measured before M. This phenomenon suggests that the apparent difference between W and M values is in fact caused by the subjects' previous experience with M measurements.

KEYWORDS:

Awareness; Introspection; Libet’s experiment; Subjective events timing; Urge to move; Voluntary action

PMID:
28222380
DOI:
10.1016/j.concog.2017.01.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center