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 Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School

nachricht Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>