Now, an experimental study suggested that free will may arise from a hidden signal buried in the "background noise" of chaotic electrical activity in the brain, and that this activity occurs almost a second before people consciously decide to do something.
Though "purposeful intentions, desires and goals drive our decisions in a linear cause-and-effect kind of way, our finding shows that our decisions are also influenced by neural noise within any given moment. That this random firing, or noise, may even be the carrier upon which our consciousness rides, in the same way that radio static is used to carry a radio station.
This background noise may allow people to respond creatively to novel situations, and it may even give human behavior the "flavor of free will" Sir Isaac Newton's laws of classical mechanics suggested the universe was deterministic, with an inevitable effect for every cause. By Newtonian logic, a "freely" made decision is completely predetermined by the actions that precede it. When people made their decision, a characteristic signal registered that choice as a wave of electrical activity that spread across specific brain regions.
But in a fascinating twist, other electrical activity emanating from the back of the head predicted people's decisions up to 800 milliseconds before the signature of conscious decision making emerged. This brain activity wasn't strictly a signal at all — it was a "noise," part of the brain's omnipresent and seemingly random electrical firing. In fact, neuroscientists usually consider this background noise meaningless and subtract it when trying to figure out the brain response to a specific task.
In other words, some hidden signal in the background noise of the brain seemed to determine people's conscious decisions before they made them. But if free will is an illusion, why does it feel so real? Though that's still a mystery, one theory is that life would be too depressing without the illusion of choice, making it hard for humans to survive and reproduce.
The idea is that you have the illusion of free will as an artifact to be able to get through life, the experiments were performed in the 1970's and the person they ecoerimented on was young in his early 20's. It had to be a young person, as young people are constantly making decisions and are adventuring the whole world using their supposed 'free will'
The idea of this experiment was simple and it was to to take out the background noise signal in the back of the head which supposedly made the decision before you did or making you think and decide in that specific way. The young man was in his early 20's and the scientist got working straight away and when the scientists managed to take away the background noise signal in the back of his head, The young man was not the same person anymore, he would talk to himself claiming a forceful and horrible voice would force him to do things he didn't want to do. He would start randomly jogging and doing press ups and at the same time he would be crying as he felt like he was a slave to this voice. The scientist tried to help him and make him describe what the voice is, the young man started cutting himself and harming himself in other ways as the forceful and horrendous voice was forcing him to.
The young man begged to the scientist to help him, but not even they could really understand what was going on. One day the young man started crying even more and one of the scientist asked the young man "what's wrong what's happened?" the scientist asked and the young man replied "I thought it was my free will that brought me here, that it was me and only me who decided to come here for you scientists to experiment on, but it wasn't, it was the voice; that forceful sadistic voice that brought me here; so it could torture me on purpose"
The young man committed suicide and left a suicide note saying "the voice told me to do