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Neural mechanisms of value bias in the human visual cortex
Date:12/24/2008

hapes, colors, etc.). In addition, these modifications of neural activity were primarily driven by the reward history of each stimulus and not to self-reported estimates of stimulus value. "This result raises the intriguing possibility that these value related changes in brain activity operate largely via an implicit mechanism that is not necessarily accessible to the observer," offers Dr. Serences.

Dr. Serences also observed activation in regions of frontal and parietal cortex that were associated with representing the difference between the value of the two objects; these areas were very active when one choice was much more valuable than the other, and less active when the choices were of approximately equal value. Interestingly, these cortical areas have been previously implicated in the process of anticipating and tracking rewards. "These findings suggest that these brain regions may provide signals to bias visual processing in favor of more valuable stimuli, perhaps so that valuable objects are processed more efficiently and have more of an impact on decision making and behavior," concludes Dr. Serences.


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Contact: Cathleen Genova
cgenova@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

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