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The neural antecedents to voluntary action: A conceptual analysis.

Nachev, P; Hacker, P; (2014) The neural antecedents to voluntary action: A conceptual analysis. Cogn Neurosci 1 - 16. 10.1080/17588928.2014.934215. Green open access

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Abstract

The inferential standards for testing hypotheses are settled; those for constructing them rarely even discussed. If the fit to the data of a hypothesis matters, then so must its fundamental coherence. That is indeed prior to any other question. Here we make use of conceptual analysis in testing the coherence of hypotheses in cognitive neuroscience and apply it to the study of the antecedents to voluntary action. We show that many influential experiments in the literature are premised-often covertly-on erroneous conceptions that render their hypotheses incoherent. The inferences drawn from the data are therefore invalidated proximally to any objection empirical replication could counter. We further demonstrate the empirical consequences of these errors in generating artifactual observable effects that have no general significance and impede further progress. We conclude with a basic framework for constructing robust hypotheses in this difficult and important field.

Type: Article
Title: The neural antecedents to voluntary action: A conceptual analysis.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/17588928.2014.934215
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17588928.2014.934215
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article. Non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way, is permitted. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
Keywords: Antecedents to action, Conceptual analysis, Readiness potential. , Voluntary action
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Brain Repair and Rehabilitation
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1434281
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