[Magazine] Scientific American Mind. Vol. 16. No 1

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What they would like, instead, is for neuroscience to come to the rescue. But the crux of the problem is the legal sys- We may not have free will, but we do have “free won’t”—veto power over criminal intent. 48 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND COPYRIGHT 2005 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, INC. G E T T Y I M AG E S as in hypnosis or in disorders such as kleptomania. When someone performs a free action to do A, he or she could have done B. When someone makes a constrained action to do A, he or she could have done only A.

Damasio, who calls this resistance “Descartes’ error,” argues, we may eventually tie the complexities of thought and emotion to our neurons without any sense of loss. (Further Reading) A Measured Look at Neuronal Oxygen Consumption. John E. W. Mayhew in Science, Vol. 299, pages 1023–1024; February 14, 2003. The New Phrenology. William R. Uttal. MIT Press, 2003. Interpreting the BOLD Signal. Nikos K. Logothetis and Brian A. Wandell in Annual Review of Physiology, Vol. 66, pages 735–769; March 2004.

Photographs by Jelle Wagenaar Psychologists often use the famous Rorschach inkblot test and related tools to assess personality and mental illness. But research says the instruments are frequently ineffective for those purposes 51 w w w. c o m COPYRIGHT 2005 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, INC. you saw in an inkblot or to invent a story for an ambiguous illustration— say, of a middle-aged man looking away from a woman who was grabbing his arm? To comply, you would draw on your own emotions, experiences, memories and imagination.

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