New research on how the brain makes decisions

Researchers have found a direct window into the brain systems involved in making everyday decisions based on preference. The study, led by a team of neuroscientists at the Medical image of human skullInstitute of Neuroscience and Psychology (INP), and published in Nature Communications, offers crucial insight into the neural mechanisms underlying our decision-making process, opening up new avenues for the investigation of preference-based choices in humans.

Study lead Dr Marios Philiastides of the INP said: “Our research suggests that preference-based and perceptual decisions might share a common underlying mechanism in the brain. Our findings also suggest that preference-based decisions might be represented in the same brain areas that plan the action to execute the decision, i.e. the hand reaching to grab the preferred item.”  He added: “Our findings have important implications for a broad range of socioeconomic problems ranging from public policy analysis, like informing health behaviours, to brain-informed advertisement strategies and product design.” Read more.

First published: 31 July 2017