Navigation Links
Decision-makers seek internal balance, not balanced alternatives
Date:10/25/2007

A researcher at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine suggests that psychiatrists may need to approach the treatment of psychiatric patients from a new direction by understanding that such individuals behavior and decision-making are based on an attempt to reach an inner equilibrium.

In a special section in the October 26 issue of the journal Science, Martin Paulus, M.D., professor in UCSDs Department of Psychiatry, has compiled a body of growing evidence that human decision-making is inextricably linked to an individuals need to maintain a homeostatic balance.

This is a state of dynamic equilibrium, much like controlling body temperature, said Paulus. How humans select a particular course of action may be in response to raising or lowering that set point back to their individual comfort zone. In people with psychiatric disorders or addictions, the thermostat may be broken.

Up to now, according to Paulus, psychiatrists and others have looked at the decision-making process as a considered series of options and values.

What has never been considered closely, but should be, is the state of the decision-maker, Paulus said. According to the researcher, this homeostatic state the tendency to maintain internal stability, due to the mind and bodys coordinated responses to any stimulus that disturbs the normal condition is altered in individuals with addictions and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or anxiety. This disturbance of homeostatic balance leads to dysfunctions in decision-making which helps explain why such patients make seemingly bad choices, he said.

Recent neuroimaging research shows strong support for the homeostatic nature of decision making, according to Paulus. For example, interoceptive information which is related to the bodys internal state or sense of balance is integrated in a particular part of the brain called the anterior insular cortex, he said. The same brain structures implicated in the urge to take drugs are involved in other biological urges, Paulus added, suggesting that a homeostatic approach could have a broad impact on treatments that seek to control addictions or psychiatric disorders, and will lay the groundwork for new areas of research.

The question addressed in part by this paper are whether changes in decision-making behavior and associated brain functions are a result of pre-existing characteristics which may predispose individuals to use drugs or as a consequence of long-term use.

Decision-making dysfunctions and resultant altered neural processing could provide a biomarker to identify those at high-risk for addictive behaviors, said Paulus, who added that much additional research is needed before scientists could begin to use such an approach.

In an upcoming paper in the journal Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, Paulus cites the complex affective, cognitive and behavioral phenomena that come into play during decision-making. The interoceptive system is able to connect with various physiological systems in the brain to orchestrate a complex set of responses, he said, adding that craving and urges are among the most notable responses that play important functions in maintaining homeostasis. Insights into how pleasure and urge are integrated in the brain and how this process is modulated can play an important role in the understanding of and possible future treatment of drug addiction, according to Paulus.


'/>"/>

Contact: Debra Kain
ddkain@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. The connection between strokes and the internal clock
2. Model of Internal Clocks Reveals How Jet Lag Disrupts the System
3. Researchers Discover Internal Compass of Immune Cells
4. 30-year-old Woman Survives internal Decapitation
5. Thin People may Be Internally Fat
6. Plant Growth Regulated by Both Internal Clock and External Light: Study
7. Balanced diet important in cancer prevention
8. Mentally Imbalanced AIDS patient Chained
9. How balanced are you? Need Help!!!
10. Intake of a healthy and balanced diet: miracle for old people.
11. Balanced Diet is Better than Vitamin Pills
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... DMG Productions, producers of the award ... an upcoming episode, slated to air fourth quarter 2017. Check your local listings ... a company committed to supporting dentistry using the most technologically advanced restorative materials ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 19, 2017 , ... Curl Keeper® ... of NaturallyCurly.com® The Curl Leaders, Editors’ Choice 2017 Award for the second year in ... for hair stylists and curlies alike was voted Best Moisturizer for Type 2 Wavies ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... August 19, 2017 , ... “Congratulations! It's A Boy! God’s Gift: ... both their parents and God. “Congratulations! It's A Boy! God’s Gift: A Story of ... from Long Island, New York. , Published by Christian Faith Publishing, Dale Anthony and ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... of “Vision & Hearing” campaign, advocating for active, healthy lifestyles and highlighting the ... available for individuals with hearing impairments and shares the latest innovations in hearing ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... VA (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... asset protection services and financial consultations to communities throughout the greater DC region, ... K9 with the goal of rescuing local animals and training them to be ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/2/2017)... Aug. 2, 2017 CaryRx, a next-generation full-service pharmacy, ... service for patients in the Washington D.C. ... pharmacy by providing delivery of medications through the convenience of ... delivery or delivered within one hour to any location in ... to bring this invaluable service to Washington D.C. ...
(Date:7/28/2017)... July 28, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") ... third quarter ended June 30, 2017, and updated its ... For the fiscal third quarter, Hill-Rom ... $0.68 per diluted share in the prior-year period. These ... $0.39 per diluted share primarily related to the non-cash ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... 2017  Radium Medical Aesthetics, a leading medical aesthetic clinic in ... by effectively addressing several skin conditions from the inside. ... and more fragile. The skin becomes more transparent due to the ... harmful UV rays from the sun contributes to aging skin, causing ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: