Friday, May 13, 2022

What Part Of The Brain Makes Decisions

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Blood Supply To The Brain

Scientists Uncover What Part Of The Brain Makes Decisions

Two sets of blood vessels supply blood and oxygen to the brain: the vertebral arteries and the carotid arteries.

The external carotid arteries extend up the sides of your neck, and are where you can feel your pulse when you touch the area with your fingertips. The internal carotid arteries branch into the skull and circulate blood to the front part of the brain.

The vertebral arteries follow the spinal column into the skull, where they join together at the brainstem and form the basilar artery, which supplies blood to the rear portions of the brain.

The circle of Willis, a loop of blood vessels near the bottom of the brain that connects major arteries, circulates blood from the front of the brain to the back and helps the arterial systems communicate with one another.

Ventricles And Cerebrospinal Fluid

Deep in the brain are four open areas with passageways between them. They also open into the central spinal canal and the area beneath arachnoid layer of the meninges.

The ventricles manufacture cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, a watery fluid that circulates in and around the ventricles and the spinal cord, and between the meninges. CSF surrounds and cushions the spinal cord and brain, washes out waste and impurities, and delivers nutrients.

How Does The Human Brain Make Decisions Study Shows Process Behind Choosing Effort And Reward

Do the ends justify the means? A new study from researchers at the University of Oxford has answered questions about how the brain processes about effort versus reward.

We asked volunteers to make choices involving different levels of monetary reward and physical effort, while they were placed in a MRI scanner, researcher Dr Miriam Klein-Flügge told Oxford University about the new research.

We found that the decisions they made were influenced by both reward size and effort required, with unsurprisingly higher reward, lower effort options being particularly favored. We then looked for particular brain regions involved in the decision-making, she explained.

Researchers want to know how the brain makes decisions.Photo courtesy of Pixabay

The scans revealed that decision-making seemed to produce activity in three areas of the brain: the supplementary motor area , dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and putamen.

Previous research has supported the theory that there is not one single decision-making system in the brain, according to Klein-Flügge. The new study also backs the thought that, instead, the mind combines a set of process, which vary depending on the decision.

The study may lead to insights about depression and other conditions that involve a patients difficulty in making decisions or exerting effort.

Read more:

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Which Part Of The Smell Activates The Brain

Parietal lobe

From the five senses of sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste, it works out the messages you get. This part of the brain tells you what is part of the outside world and what is part of the body.

In this article we explained the part of the brain that controls emotions and how it develops to make decisions. We also talked about how the brain developed in different circumstances when making decisions.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know!

What Are The Big Takeaways From This Discovery


VF: This work highlights the essential nature of transitive inference. Because it is conserved across hundreds of millions of years of evolution, it is likely a fundamental process.

HT: Our findings stand in contrast to the notion that transitive inference requires an advanced brain even in the absence of language or a large brain, complex inferences can be made.

GJ: Although the underlying neural architecture differs between species, there are common patterns that underlie the way evolution has solved making decisions.

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Has That Thinking Evolved More Recently

HT: In the late 1990s and early 2000s, clear, undisputed evidence of transitive inference was found to be at work across multiple species. For example, non-mammalian animals like pigeons and chickens have used transitive inference-like reasoning when performing tasks. These findings started a shift in the field. We all began to understand that transitive inference was not uniquely human and was more translatable across species than previously thought.

GJ: One clue to understanding transitive inference was that it seemed particularly important for animals that lived in large and complex social groups, compared to those that live in small groups or that are solitary foragers.

What Other Factors Does The Brain Take To Make A Decision

With each decision we create our life, since we are the sum of what we have decided. Developing the ability to make resolutions is crucial to shape the life we want since decisions are the engine that move our actions and influence the present and help create the future.

However, it is not always easy to decide. Sometimes we do it automatically and almost without realizing it, but there are other situations that paralyze us and we get stuck without knowing what to do. And it is precisely this disability that conditions conflicts in social, personal and work life.

Making a decision is taking a loss and nobody likes to lose. Deciding is ruling out, and in choosing one way to proceed we are omitting all the others. For this reason, action is often postponed.

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New Research On How The Brain Makes Preference

by University of Glasgow

Researchers have found a direct window into the brain systems involved in making every day decisions based on preference.

The study, led by a team of neuroscientists at the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, and published today in Nature Communications, offers crucial insight into the neural mechanisms underlying our -making process, opening up new avenues for the investigation of preference-based choices in humans.

Whether we decide to opt for a piece of apple or a piece of cake is, for example, a preference-based decision. How our brains arrive at such decisions as well as choices that rely on our subjective valuation of different alternatives is currently a popular research topic.

Previously it was unclear where the brain implements preference-based choices and whether it uses a mechanism similar to when we make decisions purely based on the perceptual properties of the alternatives .

Study lead Dr Philiastides 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.”

The paper, ‘Neural correlates of evidence accumulation during value-based decisions revealed via simultaneous EEG-fMRI’ is published in Nature Communications.

Explore further

What Is The Link Between Complex Social Groups And Transitive Inference

How the Brain Makes Decisions Under Uncertainty, Part 2 – 2014

GJ: Complex social groups for example such as those observed among penguins, monkeys or whales in the wild are structured into social hierarchies. It would be near impossible for an animal to memorize the social hierarchy of the entire group, day after day, to learn its own place in that hierarchy.

HT: To circumvent that need to memorize, the animal infers its social ranking by observing the interactions of its neighbors and then extrapolating. Its brain does all this without using language.

VF: The most exciting finding from our most recent research indicates that the brain solves these problems spatially, which is something that you can do without language.

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Which Frontal Lobe Group Works To Make A Decision

According to the data obtained by William T. Newsomes team, decisions would be made by a single group of neurons located in the frontal lobe, which would integrate the information and then make a single choice, always evaluating the various alternatives.

However, to move forward you have to be able to decide. Say: This is my path, I choose it. However, it is valid to understand something fundamental: not deciding is also a way of deciding it is letting circumstances or others choose for you.

That is why it is advisable to think not only about the decision itself, but also to weigh the consequences and the effects it will have. Do not be afraid of doubts, because they are part of the decision process. Therefore, once the alternatives and their consequences have been evaluated, one must take action, and it is good to remember the phrase of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: The whole world turns away when it sees a man passing by who knows where he is going.

Types Of Decision Making Processes

When making a decision, there are different things that happen and things to consider:

  • the level of the decision
  • the style
  • the process.

The level of the decision can be simple or complex. Its easy to find this out by asking:

  • to who is this decision important?
  • how bad would it be if the decision made is a bad decision?
  • will the decision become more or less important in the future?
  • how urgent or important is the issue at this very moment?

The style of the decision can be changed due to participation. Whether that means involving more people, bringing in a third party, or simply making the decision on your own, its important to think about who will be involved in the decision. Questions to ask could be:

  • to what degree should others be involved?
  • under what conditions would participation work best?

The decision making processes can vary between rationalist and classical, to less structured and subjective methods. Humans can be rational beings, but its the factors which determine the decision that isnt always rational.

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From Love To Voting: Who Really Decides You Or Your Brain

One of the most stunning things were seeing is the degree to which how you act is driven by mechanisms running under the hood, says Dr. David Eagleman, a neurologist and best-selling author featured in The Nature of Things documentary, My Brain Made Me Do It.

According to Eagleman, 95 per cent of our decisions are made by our unconscious mind throwing fundamental beliefs about free will out the window. In fact, new research from the Max Planck Institute in Germany shows that even when we think weve made a conscious decision, our brain has already made up its mind up to seven seconds before a lifetime in terms of brain activity.

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Scientists imaged the brains of 14 volunteers while they performed a decision-making task pushing a button with their right or left hand. By monitoring patterns of activity in the frontal cortex, the researchers could predict which hand the participant would choose well before even the participant was aware of their decision. Even the researchers found the results a little, well, disconcerting, “your decisions are strongly prepared by brain activity. By the time consciousness kicks in, most of the work has already been done,” said study co-author John-Dylan Haynes.

Even when we think weve made a conscious decision, our brain has already made up its mind up to seven seconds before.

Is it love?
Everyday decisions
Unconscious learning
How we vote

Understanding The Brains Functions

The Decision Making Part of the Brain.

As I have said earlier, the right and left side of the brains functions are very different but they both work together in helping to make decisions. The left and left brains properties and functions help a lot in arriving at a decision. However, the dominant part takes the process in its own hands and comes to the final decision. Most of the population being left brain dominant, allows their rational side in charge to make the most decisions.

Dont bother as to how the brain comes to the final decision which is taken, please feel great about as tohow you achieved it. The brain is one of the most wonderful thing and do feel positive and be calm when you arrive at adecision, it surely benefits a lot in making future decisions.

If your brain is feeling frazzled and youre having difficulty making decisions, check out the Brain Salon here.

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Pick A Button Any Button

Soon asked 36 volunteers to watch a letter in the centre of a computer screen, that changed every half-second. As the letters streamed by, the volunteers had to press one of two buttons, whenever they felt like it. When that happened, they were given a choice of four letters and had to choose the one that was up when they made their button-pressing decision.

As they did this, Soon measured their brain activity using a scanning technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging . He then used a statistical technique called pattern recognition to see if he could match the patterns of activity in different parts of the brain at different times with the choice to press the right or left button.

On average, the volunteers took about 22 seconds to press the button and felt that they consciously decided to do so about a second or less before they made the movement. But the fMRI data told a much different story. Two parts of the brain the frontopolar cortex and the precuneus -showed activity that predicted the choices that the volunteers made and in the frontopolar cortex, this activity happened a whopping 7 seconds before the subjects were consciously aware of their decisions.

The Brain And Decision Making

The origin of freedom is in the brain and this capacity is nothing more than the possibility of choosing between different actions or forms of language. Human beings have autonomy to do one thing or another and to suppress what is not wanted. In both cases, it is an election that includes the option to do nothing.

The ability to decide is, above all, in the cerebral cortex, an area of the brain that adjusts us to the environment and has a late development in people. In reality, full maturity is not acquired until we are approaching the third decade of life, when the maturation process of the cerebral cortex ends.

At that age we manage to postpone gratification, something that a child who wants everything in the here and now cannot do. For this reason, the prefrontal cortex is what opens us to freedom and creativity.

Perhaps few manage to realize that when making decisions the worst obstacle or enemy to overcome is the mind itself, since a good part of our behaviors are unconscious.

These almost automatic behaviors are called heuristic routines and are intended to help the person in the choices that they must make on a daily basis. In other words, they are internal processes that automate choices and make it possible to choose alternatives expeditiously and economically in terms of energy consumption.

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Reconstructing The Neural Puzzle

At Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, we have developed a simple task that re-creates the lighter-flicking experience. Here, mice naturally forage for water but drops are delivered sparsely and sometimes, at random, the water resource becomes depleted. This is just like a capricious lighter that produces flames inconsistently, until the reserve of gas suddenly runs low.

In our experiment, we carefully monitor the behaviour of the mice during this task to understand how persistent they are in searching for water, and when they give up to explore somewhere else. Using computational models, we can explain the main aspects of this decision-making process. According to Pietro Vertechi, my colleague who developed the model:

By translating a difficult decision process in a naturalistic setting , we can study cognition in parallel in mice and humans. Just like in the equivalent naturalistic scenario, the animal receives many different stimuli , most of which are irrelevant to solving the task. Mathematical modelling tells us what are the important variables that the subject should be tracking . We can then test what brain regions encode that information and how.

Thinking And Choosing In The Brain

The Buyer Brain: How people make decisions | First Principles

PASADENA, Calif.The frontal lobes are the largest part of the human brain, and thought to be the part that expanded most during human evolution. Damage to the frontal lobeswhich are located just behind and above the eyescan result in profound impairments in higher-level reasoning and decision making. To find out more about what different parts of the frontal lobes do, neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology recently teamed up with researchers at the world’s largest registry of brain-lesion patients. By mapping the brain lesions of these patients, the team was able to show that reasoning and behavioral control are dependent on different regions of the frontal lobe than the areas called upon when making a decision.

Their findings are described online this week in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .

The team analyzed data that had been acquired over a 30-plus-year time span by scientists from the University of Iowa’s department of neurologywhich has the world’s largest lesion patient registry. They used that data to map brain activity in nearly 350 people with damage, or lesions, in their frontal lobes. The records included data on the performances of each patient while doing certain cognitive tasks.

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The Decision Making Process

Understanding the way our brains come to solid decisions has been researched through various interesting and insightful experiments. Right and left-brain differences do play a role in how a decision is made within the brain, but so do other parts of the brain system. Through experiments conducted on rats, it was discovered that when faced with a challenge, rats used their hippocampus to replay past experiences to help make decisions. A cognitive map was created to assist in determining correct and incorrect decision making, with the research potentially helping aide in fighting ailments that affect decision making in humans such as Alzheimers.

With the hippocampus lying behind the eyes, it has both a left and a right side. Being part of the limbic system, the hippocampus works with the brain in developing memory. Memory is a large part of how the brain makes decisions.

The decision making process of the human brain is a series of connections strung together to come to a final result. The movement happens in a front to back direction, with important components at each level. According to the DANA Foundation, if one part of the decision making process is damaged, the process shuts down stopping the brains decision making abilities.

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