There seems to be a widespread problem with philosophical speculation being claimed to be science in neuropsychology. Of course, this is a difficult area - human complexity means that results are unlikely to be simple, there are major ethical and practical challenges, and, because we are humans, there is likely to be significant investigator bias relating to the desired answer and supposed significance. The latest technologies allow us to map where things are happening in the brain in unprecedented detail. But that cannot answer philosophical questions such as determinism; the results can equally be interpreted more or less deterministically. Such questions have also become entangled in political preferences, with claims that more free-will or more deterministic spins are supposedly more in line with Marxist or other popular political errors.
Following up on an item in " Reasons why metaphysics and philosophy of mind are needed to figure out human origins": Time Magazine treated the article https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences/article/homing-in-on-consciousness-in-the-nervous-system-an-actionbased-synthesis/2483CA8F40A087A0A7AAABD40E0D89B2 as a description of scientific discovery, but in fact it is a proposal of a redefinition of consciousness (conscience was indeed a typo on my part). The journal describes itself as follows: " BBS is the internationally renowned journal with the innovative format known as Open Peer Commentary. Particularly significant and controversial pieces of work are published from researchers in any area of psychology, neuroscience, behavioral biology or cognitive science, together with 20-40 commentaries on each article from specialists within and across these disciplines, plus the author’s response to them. The result is a fascinating and unique forum for the communication, criticism, stimulation, and particularly the unification of research in behavioral and brain sciences from molecular neurobiology to artificial intelligence and the philosophy of the mind." To put a less positive spin, BBS publishes speculation and argument in the hopes of getting lots of citations.
The abstract of the paper in question is as follows: " What is the primary function of consciousness in the nervous system? The answer to this question remains enigmatic, not so much because of a lack of relevant data, but because of the lack of a conceptual framework with which to interpret the data. To this end, we have developed Passive Frame Theory , an internally coherent framework that, from an action-based perspective, synthesizes empirically supported hypotheses from diverse fields of investigation. The theory proposes that the primary function of consciousness is well-circumscribed, serving the somatic nervous system . For this system, consciousness serves as a frame that constrains and directs skeletal muscle output, thereby yielding adaptive behavior. The mechanism by which consciousness achieves this is more counterintuitive, passive, and “low level” than the kinds of functions that theorists have previously attributed to consciousness. Passive frame theory begins to illuminate (a) what consciousness contributes to nervous function, (b) how consciousness achieves this function, and © the neuroanatomical substrates of conscious processes. Our untraditional, action-based perspective focuses on olfaction instead of on vision and is descriptive (describing the products of nature as they evolved to be) rather than normative (construing processes in terms of how they should function). Passive frame theory begins to isolate the neuroanatomical, cognitive-mechanistic, and representational (e.g., conscious contents) processes associated with consciousness."
In other words, they redefine consciousness in a narrow sense and find that consciousness is narrower than under other definitions.