Noise in the brain, decision-making, determinism, free will, and consciousness

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Noise caused by randomness in the spiking times of neurons in the brain has a number of advantages, including contributing to probabilistic decision-making. However, noise results in the brain operating effectively as a non-deterministic system, which has implications for free will. Noise also results in decisions being taken probabilistically between the reasoning system and the implicit reward system. I propose that free will can be used to describe the operation of the reasoning system, and that consciousness is a property of a reasoning system that must use higher order syntactic thoughts (HOSTs) to correct its first order thoughts. When the implicit system takes a decision, we may confabulate a reason for the decision, and in that case the feeling of free will may be an illusion.


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