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Volitional architectures 

Volitional architectures
Volitional architectures
The Actor's Brain: Exploring the cognitive neuroscience of free will

Sean A Spence


Each of the architectures that we have considered in the course of this chapter sheds light upon what it means to act ‘voluntarily’ and what it is that delineates our ‘response space’. Neural ‘loops’ coordinate activity over distributed brain regions, they allow coherent movements to emerge; neurochemical architectures modulate neural processes, they promote volition or restraint; such systems may be conceived of cognitively, in models that we create with arrows and boxes, models that emphasize a distinction between ‘routines’ and ‘control’, the way that we structure our actions in time; and finally, our own bodies paralyse us, to ‘prevent’ us from ‘acting’ ‘involuntarily’, when we dream. Multiple structures and processes, all engaged in providing a coherent space for action.

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