Online Seminars

We launched a series of online, interdisciplinary seminars related to the neurophilosophy of free will. Each seminar generally features a talk by a neuroscientist and a talk by a philosopher followed by moderated Q&A.

Free Will and the COINTOB Model of Decision-Making

Neuroscientist: Marcel Brass, Ph.D. – Humboldt University of Berlin

Philosopher: Al Mele, Ph.D. – Florida State University

Moderator: Mathieu Landry, Ph.D. – Chapman University/McGill University


The COINTOB (conditional intention and integration to bound) model provides a heuristic framework of processes in Libet-style experiments. The model is based on three assumptions. First, brain activation preceding conscious intentions in Libet-style experiments does not reflect an unconscious decision but rather the unfolding of a decision process. Second, the time of conscious decision (W) reflects the moment in time when the decision boundary is crossed. This interpretation of W is consistent with our apparent intuition that we decide in the moment we experience the conscious intention to act. Third, the decision process is configured by conscious intentions that participants form at the beginning of the experiment based on the experimental instruction. Brass and Mele discuss the model, conceptual background for it, and the model’s bearing on free will.

Relevant paper:

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Towards Operational and Falsifiable Definitions to Stimulate the Dialogue in the Neurophilosophy of Free Will 

Neuroscientist: Gabriel Kreiman, Ph.D. – Harvard Medical School

Philosopher: Rosa Cao, Ph.D. – Stanford University

Moderator: Nadav Amir, Ph.D. – Chapman University/Tel Aviv University

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The Power and Limits of Neuroscience Research Paradigms on Action and Free Will


Neuroscientist: John Assad, Ph.D. – Harvard Medical School

Philosopher: Manuel Vargas, Ph.D. – UC San Diego

Moderator: Marie-Christine Nizzi, Ph.D. – Dartmouth College/Chapman University


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The Readiness Potential: What Does It Mean for Conscious Volition?


Neuroscientist: Aaron Schurger, Ph.D. – Chapman University

Philosopher: Adina Roskies, Ph.D. – Dartmouth College

Moderator: Tomáš Dominik, Ph.D. – Chapman University


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Responsibility Without Freedom


Neuroscientist: John-Dylan Haynes, Ph.D. – Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Philosopher: Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Ph.D. – Duke University

Moderator: Kristina Krasich, Ph.D. – Duke University


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Sources and reasons: internal and external factors underlying freely-willed action – a neurophilosophical debate


Neuroscientist: Patrick Haggard, Ph.D. – University College London

Philosopher: Richard Holton, Ph.D. – University of Cambridge

Moderator: Elisabeth Parés, Ph.D. – University College London


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