Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New discoveries about human risk aversion and decision-making

15.11.2011
Research helps explain ways the brain maximizes reward and minimizes loss

What makes us decide to play it safe or take a risk? Scientists presented research today identifying regions and functions of the brain involved in such decisions to provide fresh insights into how humans explore the unknown. These findings also add to a relatively new area of inquiry — neuroeconomics and the study of economic behavior. The research was presented at Neuroscience 2011, the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Specifically, today's new findings show that:

The brain chemical serotonin may be involved in risky decision-making. Researchers found that when certain serotonin receptors are blocked, people are less likely to take a gambling risk (Julian Macoveanu, PhD, abstract 931.10, see summary attached).

Given multiple opportunities to choose, people seek out unfamiliar options over known outcomes (Robert Wilson, PhD, abstract 830.13, see summary attached).

Other recent findings discussed show that:

Brain cells in the orbitofrontal cortex of the monkey brain assign values to different goods. The activity of these cells adapts to the range of values presented and is independent of the value of alternative options (Camillo Padoa-Schioppa, PhD, see attached speaker's summary).

The brain circuit connecting the cortex and basal ganglia is involved in "deciding" which behavior to pursue. Studying this circuit yields new information about emotional decision-making and insights into certain neurological disorders, like obsessive-compulsive-spectrum disorders and addiction (Ann Graybiel, PhD, see attached speaker's summary).

"These studies help deepen our understanding of the highly complex mechanisms involved in decision-making," said press conference moderator Michael Platt, PhD, of Duke University, an expert in cognitive behavior and the brain. "Such research is not only helping us understand how and why we make the choices we do, but it also may lead to more effective interventions for some of the many brain disorders that are characterized by poor decision-making."

View full release and summaries at www.sfn.org/newsroom.

This research was supported by national funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations.

Kat Snodgrass | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sfn.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>