When electrical pulses are applied to the ventral tegmental area of their brain, macaques presented with two images change their preference from one image to the other. The study is the first to confirm a causal link between activity in the ventral tegmental area and choice behavior in primates.
Further evidence that the mind is fully contained in the brain, and that libertarian free will is illusory. Of course, many people will insist that what applies for monkeys is not indicative of how things are in humans. Fair enough, but we may someday be able to resolve this question.
Could this method be used in the future to manipulate our choices? “Theoretically, yes. But the ventral tegmental area is very deep in the brain. At this point, stimulating it can only be done invasively, by surgically placing electrodes…
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