Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain

Michael Gazzaniga is a leading researcher in cognitive neuroscience. In his book WHO’S IN CHARGE: FREE WILL AND THE SCIENCE OF THE BRAIN, Gazzaniga discusses the interpreter module of the brain, an area which he introduced in the early 1970’s:

“How come we have that powerful, almost self-evident feeling that we are unified when we are comprised of a gazillion modules? We do not experience a thousand chattering voices, but a unified experience. Consciousness flows easily and naturally from one moment to the next with a single, unified, and coherent narrative. The psychological unity we experience emerges out of the specialized system called “the interpreter” that generates explanations about our perceptions, memories, and actions and the relationships among them. This leads to a personal narrative, the story that ties together all the disparate aspects of our conscious experience into a coherent whole: order from chaos. … Its drive to generate hypotheses is the trigger for human beliefs, which, in turn, constrain our brain.”