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).
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!
Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns
25.07.2017 | University of Portsmouth
Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.07.2017 | Life Sciences