There has been a long controversy as to whether subjectively 'free' decisions are determined by brain activity ahead of time. We found that the outcome of a decision can be encoded in brain activity of prefrontal and parietal cortex up to 10 s before it enters awareness. This delay presumably reflects the operation of a network of high-level control areas that begin to prepare an upcoming decision long before it enters awareness.
- Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Stephanstrasse 1A, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
- Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Haus 6, Philippstrasse 13, 10115 Berlin, Germany.
- Department of Experimental Psychology and Ghent Institute for Functional and Metabolic Imaging, Ghent University, Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.
- Department of Neurology II, Otto-von-Guericke University, Leipziger Strasse 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany.