Navigation Links
Risk and reward compete in brain
Date:10/9/2008

That familiar pull between the promise of victory and the dread of defeat whether in money, love or sport is rooted in the brain's architecture, according to a new imaging study.

Neuroscientists at the USC Brain and Creativity Institute have identified distinct brain regions with competing responses to risk.

Both regions are located in the prefrontal cortex, an area behind the forehead involved in analysis and planning.

By giving volunteers a task that measures risk tolerance and observing their reactions with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the researchers found that activity in one region identified risk-averse volunteers, while activity in a different region was greater in those with an appetite for risk.

The study appeared online Oct. 8 in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

"We can see risk as a battle between two forces," said Antoine Bechara, professor of psychology at USC. "There is always a lure of reward. There's always a fear of failure. These are the two forces that are always battling each other."

In his previous research, Bechara had used the same task to measure risk tolerance in brain-damaged patients. He and other researchers showed that the prefrontal cortex is critical for proper risk assessment.

But because brain lesions differ in every patient and affect multiple areas, lesion-based studies usually cannot pinpoint the role of smaller brain regions.

So Bechara's group at the institute decided to repeat the experiment with fMRI.

"We were interested in how normal people perform this task. What's going on in their brain?" asked first author Gui Xue, a postdoctoral research associate at the institute.

Bechara called his group's study the first to frame a person's risk profile in terms of the interaction between two brain regions.

Co-author Zhong-Lin Lu, professor of psychology at USC, said: "What this study has done is essentially localize two separate centers for the fear of risk and the lure of reward."


'/>"/>

Contact: Carl Marziali
marziali@usc.edu
213-740-4751
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Obesity predisposition traced to the brains reward system
2. How does the opioid system control pain, reward and addictive behavior?
3. ETH Zurich competence center ESC introduces energy strategy
4. Eating competence may lower risk of heart disease
5. Food for thought -- regulating energy supply to the brain during fasting
6. Millisecond brain signals predict response to fast-acting antidepressant
7. During exercise, the human brain shifts into high gear on alternative energy
8. Penn biophysicists create new model for protein-cholesterol interactions in brain and muscle tissue
9. International TGen-led team finds link between brain protein and Alzheimers disease
10. The satellite navigation in our brains
11. Arbor Vita and WRAIR sign CRADA for traumatic brain injury collaboration
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, ... the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... competition will focus on developing health and wellness apps ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon ... The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) has ... Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on ... . In addition, CHS previously earned a place ... an electronic medical record (EMR). "HIMSS ... of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  This ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , a ... technologies, today announced the release of the ... provides improved facial recognition using up to 10 ... single computer. The new version uses deep neural-network-based ... and it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to announce that its Charm Amphenicol ... as a screening test at dairies and farms for raw commingled cow milk. The ... EZ Lite system. These systems are a combination incubator and reader in one. , ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... determine the adulterants which pose the most likely threat to their products at ... this year. , IFT's annual food expo attracts over 20,000 attendees representing ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... Do More with OHAUS , With the ... trusted supplier in the weighing industry, to extending its expertise across the entire laboratory ... immunoassays, hybridizations and more, allowing for its customers to 'Do More' in ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... EDETEK, Inc., a ... that it is launching two new additions of its award-winning cloud-based platform CONFORMâ„¢: ... at the DIA 2017 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, June 19-22, 2017. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: