“Free will is an illusion. Free will is just a miscast problem in my opinion and that is what I try to do in the book is not just assert that but to tell the story about how the brain is built what we know comes from the factory and the brain how its organized in terms of all these modules to ultimately paint a picture that our brain works in an automatic way just like a wristwatch. And we have this belief that we’re acting as if we’re in charge and I say that it is an illusion.
The mechanism is a special module that we discovered in the left brain, your left brain my left brain, it’s called “‘the interpreter’. And what it does is it looks at our own behaviour, our own thinking, our own feelings, and it builds a theory, a narrative about, "Why am I feeling? Why did I just do that? Why am I having this hypothesis?" And it’s a storytelling mechanism of all our actions of all our feelings and it begins to become your idea of yourself. What you believe you to be. So this big strong thing we have, ‘the interpreter’ no wonder we think, ‘well that must be me moving my arm’ ‘I must be in charge’. So we build up this convenient theory to explain a vastly complex but automatic machine that is the human brain.”
Michael Gazzaniga on Charlie Rose.
1) The Ethical Brain
2)Who's In Charge: Free Will and the Science of the Brain