The Role of the Will in Wellness

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  1. 1/157 The Role of the WillThe Role of the Will in Wellnessin Wellness Andrew S. Bonci, BA, DCAndrew S. Bonci, BA, DC Private PracticePrivate Practice…
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  • 1. 1/157 The Role of the WillThe Role of the Will in Wellnessin Wellness Andrew S. Bonci, BA, DCAndrew S. Bonci, BA, DC Private PracticePrivate Practice
  • 2. 2/157 Can We Choose To Be Well?Can We Choose To Be Well?
  • 3. 3/157 “People are rarely aware of the real reasons which motivate their actions.” Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda (1928)
  • 4. 4/157 Disclosures I stand before you withI stand before you with NO conflicts of interest.conflicts of interest. I make my livingI make my living the way you dothe way you do, by lifting the burden, by lifting the burden of human suffering with the aid ofof human suffering with the aid of chiropracticchiropractic.. I haveI have nothing to sellnothing to sell to you, so relax andto you, so relax and enjoyenjoy yourselfyourself and your time with your peers.and your time with your peers.
  • 5. 5/157 Get theGet the NotesNotes Obtenga lasObtenga las NotasNotas Akiru laAkiru la NotojnNotojn oror
  • 6. 6/157 Lecture ObjectivesLecture Objectives Review the philosophy and neuroscience of the free-will problem. Discuss the current state of our understanding of the neuroscience of cognition and volition. Identify common obstacles and impediments to volition. Explore strategies to use the will to achieve wellness.
  • 7. 7/157 In Life We Must WeighIn Life We Must Weigh Will against Wavering Power against Weakness Resolve against Indecision Discipline against Waffling Action against Idleness We must do this in a clear effort to touch upon healing, wholeness and wellness.
  • 8. 8/157 ΠαράκλητοςΠαράκλητος ((Parzival)Parzival) Anfortas leaned and seldom sat as a result of the pain of his wound. – Parzival turned to Anfortas and asked the long awaited question in defiance of the sensible customs of proper knights, “Uncle, what ails you?”“Uncle, what ails you?” – Whereupon He that bade Lazarus arise gave help. – Greater marvel has seldom come to pass: you have forced God by defiance to make His Trinity grant your willyour will. Wolfran von Eschenbach: Parzival Book XVI
  • 9. 9/157 The Facts are Never In Dispute.The Facts are Never In Dispute. The Interpretations are In Dispute.The Interpretations are In Dispute.
  • 10. 10/157 Speaking with colleagues, I have found thatSpeaking with colleagues, I have found that we tend to reflexively blame peoplewe tend to reflexively blame people for their illnesses and lack of wellness.for their illnesses and lack of wellness.
  • 11. 11/157 Is ill-health a question of not having: – Self-Respect? – Responsibility? – Will-Power?
  • 12. 12/157 Will-PowerWill-Power When people say, “I have no will-power,” what they usually mean is, “I have trouble saying no when my mouth, stomach, heart wants to say yes.” Will-power is about harnessing the three powersharnessing the three powers of I willI will, I won’tI won’t, and I wantI want to help you achieve your goals. McGonigal Ph.D., Kelly. The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It (Kindle Locations 182-183). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  • 13. 13/157 Is ill-health a question of not having: – Self-Respect? – Responsibility? – Will-Power?
  • 14. 14/157 We prefer to moralize instead of lookingWe prefer to moralize instead of looking deeply into the lives of others for fear ofdeeply into the lives of others for fear of confronting our own shortcomings.confronting our own shortcomings.
  • 15. 15/157 Will-Power?Will-Power? Will-Power is the Power to ActWill-Power is the Power to Act Outside of Conditioned Responses.Outside of Conditioned Responses.
  • 16. 16/157 WillWill The faculty by which a person decidesdecides on and initiatesinitiates action. – Synonyms we use to mean Will: determination, will power, strength of character, resolution, resolve, resoluteness, single-mindedness, purposefulness, drive, commitment, dedication, doggedness, tenacity, tenaciousness, staying power Control deliberately exerted to do something or to restrain one's own impulsesrestrain one's own impulses.
  • 17. 17/157 VolitionVolition In the context of volition, researchers study how action is planned, controlled, and modulated in the service of the agent's needs, motives, desires, or goals. (Prinz, Dennett, and Sebanz. Disorders of Volition. Bradford Books/MIT Press. 2006.) – Volition is viewed as an inside-out process of how actions are formed and informed by internal conditions. – Volitional processes can be applied consciouslyapplied consciously or they can be automatized as habitsautomatized as habits over time. Is wellness a volitional act?
  • 18. 18/157 How Should We Understand Wellness?How Should We Understand Wellness?
  • 19. 19/157 WellnessWellness The quality or state of being in good health. The process of learning about and engaging in behaviors that are likely to result in optimal health. – ““A concept and practice poorly defined,A concept and practice poorly defined, misunderstood, misinterpreted and misapplied.”misunderstood, misinterpreted and misapplied.” Wellness is a state of being well; a state of well- being.
  • 20. 20/157 Well-BeingWell-Being Well (adv): – Velle (Latin) "to wish, to want, to willto will" Being (n): – A condition, state, circumstances; presence, fact of existing Well-being (n): – Existing in a state of willingness/volition
  • 21. 21/157 Halbert Dunn, MD, PhDHalbert Dunn, MD, PhD (1896-1975)(1896-1975) Dunn was the first to advance the concept of wellness in the American consciousness back in the 1950s. – He wrote that wellness is “an integrated method of functioning which is oriented toward maximizing theoriented toward maximizing the potentialpotential of which the individual is capable, within the environment where he is functioning.” High Level Wellness, R. W. Beatty, Ltd., 1961
  • 22. 22/157 8 Points of High Level Wellness8 Points of High Level Wellness Willingness to – face inconsistencies in our thinking – hear and examine the other fellow's viewpoints with an open mind. – encourage freedom of expression of those around us. – adjust our own views. – make time for unhurried contacts with others when such relationships are essential. – give credit and recognition to others when it is due them. – serve others as opportunities arise. – give freedom to those we love. High Level Wellness, R. W. Beatty, Ltd., 1961
  • 23. 23/157 Wellness as Well-BeingWellness as Well-Being Wellness refers to diverse and interconnected dimensions of physical, mental, and social well- being that extend beyond the traditional definition of health. JAMA. 2015 Jul 14;314(2):121-2. – It includes choices and activities aimed at achieving physical vitality, mental alacrity, social satisfaction,physical vitality, mental alacrity, social satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, and personala sense of accomplishment, and personal fulfillment.fulfillment. – Disease is incompatible with health, but not withDisease is incompatible with health, but not with wellness.wellness. For example, a dying patient who has led a rewarding life and is surrounded by a loving family and friends may still enjoy high level wellness.
  • 24. 24/157 Well-Being is WellnessWell-Being is Wellness Wellness is WillingnessWellness is Willingness Wellness, therefore, Implies Free-WillWellness, therefore, Implies Free-Will
  • 25. 25/157 What is Free-Will?What is Free-Will? The popular conception of free-will seems to rest on two assumptions: 1.that each of us could have behaved differentlybehaved differently than we did in the past, and 2.that we are the conscious sourceconscious source of most of our thoughts and actions in the present. Harris, Sam. Free Will (p. 6). Free Press. Kindle Edition.
  • 26. 26/157 Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, ““Do you want to be made well?”Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” John 5:2-7
  • 27. 27/157 It is no measure of healthIt is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to ato be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.profoundly sick society. Jiddu KrishnamurtiJiddu Krishnamurti
  • 28. 28/157 Are We Free to Choose Wellness?Are We Free to Choose Wellness?
  • 29. 29/157 Benjamin LibetBenjamin Libet (1916-2007)(1916-2007) Libet was a pioneering scientist in the field of human consciousness and a researcher in the physiology department of the University of California, San Francisco. – In the early 1980's, Libet's most famous work built on the pre-volitional brain potentialspre-volitional brain potentials known as the Readiness Potential. These experiments came to be known as the Free-Will Experiments.
  • 30. 30/157 Readiness PotentialReadiness Potential The Readiness Potential (Bereitschaftspotential) also known as the pre-motor potential is a measure of activity in the motor cortex and supplementary motor area (SMASMA) that is the lead up to voluntary muscle movement. – It is a manifestation of the cortical contribution to the pre-motor planning of volitional movement. – It was first described Hans Helmut Kornhuber and Lüder Deecke at the University of Freiburg in Germany in 1964.
  • 31. 31/157
  • 32. 32/157 Readiness PotentialReadiness Potential EEGActivityEEGActivity Libet asked,Libet asked, ““Where does the intentionWhere does the intention to move fall in theto move fall in the Readiness Potential Curve?”Readiness Potential Curve?”
  • 33. 33/157
  • 34. 34/157 When Does Intention Appear?When Does Intention Appear?
  • 35. 35/157 Libet ExperimentLibet Experiment
  • 36. 36/157 Libet is Not AloneLibet is Not Alone We found that the outcome of a decision can be encoded in brain activity of prefrontal and parietal cortex up to 10 seconds before it entersup to 10 seconds before it enters awarenessawareness. – 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. Nat Neurosci. 2008 May;11(5):543-5.
  • 37. 37/157 fMRI Support for LibetfMRI Support for Libet Using fMRI scans cortical brain regions contained information about which button subjects would press a full 7 to 10 seconds before the decision was consciously made. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Apr;1224:9-21. The outcome of a free decision can already be decoded from neural activity in medial prefrontalmedial prefrontal and parietal cortex 4 seconds beforeand parietal cortex 4 seconds before they are consciously making their choice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Apr 9;110(15):6217- 22
  • 38. 38/157 Before You Thought ItBefore You Thought It Our results suggest that unconscious preparation of free choices is not restricted to motornot restricted to motor preparation.preparation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Apr 9;110(15):6217-22. – Instead, decisions at multiple scales of abstractionmultiple scales of abstraction evolve from the dynamics of preceding brain activity.
  • 39. 39/157 Could the Libet ExperimentCould the Libet Experiment be Evidence for the Lack of Free-Will?be Evidence for the Lack of Free-Will?
  • 40. 40/157 The Free-Will IllusionThe Free-Will Illusion Free will is an illusion. Our wills are simply not of our own making. Harris, Sam. Free Will (p. 5-6). Free Press. Kindle Edition. – Thoughts and intentions emergeemerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious controlno conscious control. – Seeming acts of volition merely arise spontaneously and cannot be traced to a point of origin in our conscious minds.
  • 41. 41/157 Free-Won'tFree-Won't Libet did not interpretdid not interpret his experiment as evidence for the lack of conscious free will. – He points out that although the tendency to press a button may be building up for 500 milliseconds, the conscious mind retains the right to veto any action at the last moment. J Consciousness Studies. 10 (12): 24–8. – This conscious, volitional act to veto unconscious impulses to perform a physical action is often referred to as Free-Won't.
  • 42. 42/157 Veto PowerVeto Power
  • 43. 43/157 Neuroscience of VolitionNeuroscience of Volition What we call “free will” or volition appears to be localized to the frontal lobesfrontal lobes, the medial most portions in particular. Joseph, R. . Free Will and the Frontal Lobes: Loss of Will, Against the Will, Catatonia and the “Alien Hand” (Kindle Location 32). University Press. Kindle Edition. Libet's original experiment in 1983 explicitly identified the frontal motor circuitsfrontal motor circuits of the brain as the cause of conscious intention. Disorders of Volition (Bradford Books) (Kindle Location 1128). Kindle Edition.
  • 44. 44/157 Basal GangliaBasal Ganglia Substantia NigraSubstantia Nigra StriatumStriatum mPFCmPFC Motor ExecutionMotor Execution SMASMA * Neural Model for VolitionNeural Model for Volition Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008 Dec;9(12):934-46.
  • 45. 45/157 Deep VolitionDeep Volition The basal ganglia plays a significant role in voluntary motor control, procedural learningprocedural learning relating to habits, emotional and motivational functioning, and transforming affective states into movement. Joseph, R.. Basal Ganglia, Striatum, Thalamus: Caudate, Putamen, Globus Pallidus, Limbic Striatum, Brainstem, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Psychosis, ... & Disorders of Movement (Kindle Locations 63-64). University Press. Kindle Edition. – Neurons in the striatum begin firing prior to movement, 20 ms20 ms on average. – The immobility seen in Parkingson's disease is often described as a paralysis of the willparalysis of the will.
  • 46. 46/157 What are theWhat are the Basic Philosophical ArgumentsBasic Philosophical Arguments Framing the Free-Will Problem?Framing the Free-Will Problem?
  • 47. 47/157 Determinism/LibertarianismDeterminism/Libertarianism Determinism is the philosophical doctrine that all events transpire in virtue of some necessity and are therefore inevitable. – Predestination is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God, usually with reference to the eventual fate of the individual soul. Libertarianism is an incompatibilist position that argues that free will is logically incompatible with a deterministic universe and that agents have free will.
  • 48. 48/157 On the Bondage of the WillOn the Bondage of the Will 15251525 Luther reasoned that sin incapacitatessin incapacitates human beings from working out their own salvation, and that they are completely incapablecompletely incapable of bringing themselves to God. – As such, there is no free willthere is no free will for humanity because any will they might have is overwhelmed by the influence of sin. – Central to this doctrine are Luther's beliefs concerning the power and complete sovereigntypower and complete sovereignty of God.
  • 49. 49/157 Free-Will Implies Agent CausalityFree-Will Implies Agent Causality Agent-Causality is the idea that agents can startcan start new causal chainsnew causal chains that are not pre-determined by the events of the immediate or distant past or the physical laws of nature. – Agents possess volition and, therefore, free-will. – The first agent-causal libertarian was Aristotle.
  • 50. 50/157 Agency is Tied to a “Self”Agency is Tied to a “Self” The self can be considered that being which is the source of consciousness, the agent responsibleresponsible for an individual's thoughts and actionsfor an individual's thoughts and actions, or the substantial nature of a person which endures and unifies consciousness over time. – According to John Locke (1632 - 1704), the self is a product of episodic memory Psychol Rev. 2000 Apr;107(2):261-88. – Locke posits an "empty" mind, a tabula rasatabula rasa, which is shaped by experience; sensations and reflections being the two sources of all our ideas. – Gazzaniga refers to this as the Interpreter.
  • 51. 51/157 Our Belief in Free-Will Rests inOur Belief in Free-Will Rests in Our Ability to Consciously Set GoalsOur Ability to Consciously Set Goals and Achieve Them.and Achieve Them.
  • 52. 52/157 Conscious GoalsConscious Goals As humans, we generally have the feeling that wefeeling that we decidedecide what we want and what we do. Our behaviors seem to originateseem to originate in our conscious decisions to pursue desired outcomes, or goals. Science 329, 47 (2010)
  • 53. 53/157 Conscious or UnconsciousConscious or Unconscious Goals direct attention and behavior, even in the absence of conscious awarenessabsence of conscious awareness of the goal. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 61, 467 (2010). Psychol. Bull. 126, 925 (2000). – The operation of higher cognitive processes supporting goal pursuit does not caredoes not care much about the conscious state of the individual. Science 329, 47 (2010)
  • 54. 54/157 Does the Libet ExperimentDoes the Libet Experiment Expose Unconscious Agency orExpose Unconscious Agency or Unconscious Will?Unconscious Will?
  • 55. 55/157 Unconscious AgencyUnconscious Agency UnconsciousUnconscious AgencyAgency
  • 56. 56/157 Unconscious InfluencesUnconscious Influences A man sits in his office decidingdeciding what stocks to buy. He imagines, no doubt, that he is planning his purchases according to his own judgmentown judgment. In actual fact his judgment is a mélange of impressions stamped on his mind by outside influences which unconsciously controlunconsciously control his thought. Bernays, Edward. (1928) Propaganda (p. 25). Ig Publishing. Kindle Edition.
  • 57. 57/157 Edward BernaysEdward Bernays The systematic study of mass psychology revealed to students the potentialities of invisible government of society by manipulation of themanipulation of the motivesmotives which actuate man in the group. – If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control andcontrol and regimentregiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? Bernays, Edward. (1928) Propaganda (p. 24). Ig Publishing. Kindle Edition.
  • 58. 58/157 We Must Widen Our ConceptWe Must Widen Our Concept Libet's experiment does not tell us that we do not choose to initiate an action: it just tells us th
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