Navigation Links
The neuroscience of choosing: Can we understand how the brain makes decisions?
Date:9/15/2011

Although still a young field, research in "decision neuroscience" has exploded in the last decade, with scientists beginning to decipher what exactly is happening in our brains when we are making choices, whether big or small.

In fact, early findings suggest it is possible to parse out the complexity of thinking into its individual components, and in the process determine how they are integrated as we ponder and decide.

Recently, researchers in decision neuroscience participated in a discussion about their work and the genesis of this cutting-edge field. During the dialogue, they discussed how decision neuroscience hopes to greatly advance our understanding of the brain, and in turn our understanding of mental disorders ranging from depression to schizophrenia.

"For many psychiatric disorders, patients that are symptomatic are frequently making poor decisions about numerous things throughout the day, such as how they handle their anxiety and other emotional states," said C. Daniel Salzman, MD, PhD., Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Kavli Institute for Brain Science, Columbia University School of Medicine. "If you've ever had a friend or family member with depression, you can see they are not making decisions the way they normally do. So there clearly has to be dysfunction in the neurocircuits of psychiatric patients affecting their decisions, and we need to understand this better in order to come up with better treatments for mental disorders."

As pointed out by another participant in the dialogue, this research is already deepening understanding of these disorders.

"Our new knowledge about the cellular and circuit mechanisms of working memory and decision processes in the brain has already had a significant impact on clinical studies of mental illness," said Xiao-Jing Wang, PhD., Department of Neurobiology, Physics and Psychology; Director, Swartz Program in Theoretical Neurobiology; Kavli Institute of Neuroscience, Yale University School of Medicine. "For instance, addiction is fundamentally a problem of making bad choices, resulting from impaired reward signaling and decision-making circuits in the brain. Understanding these circuits has become key to linking genes and molecules with behavior in clinical studies."

Daeyeol Lee, PhD., Department of Neurobiology and Kavli Institute for Neuroscience, Yale University School of Medicine, stated one important goal is understanding the neurobiological basis for individual variability in decision making.

"When people face the same decision, they tend to make different choices," said Lee. "Some of that is due to their different experiences and learning environment. There are also fundamental genetic differences that give rise to different decision making styles. Getting a better understanding of the neurobiological basis for those individual differences in decision making will have enormous implications. It can explain a lot of problems in our society, including differences in the tendency to develop psychiatric illnesses."


'/>"/>

Contact: James Cohen
cohen@kavlifoundation.org
The Kavli Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Landmark law and neuroscience network expands at Vanderbilt
2. Conference: Improving K-12 education with cutting-edge cognitive neuroscience research
3. New Society for Social Neuroscience to help guide emerging field
4. Yerkes researchers present at 40th Annual Society for Neuroscience Conference
5. Neuroscience research may help patients recover from brain injury
6. University Hospitals Case Medical Centers neuroscience intensive care unit earns Beacon Award
7. Elsevier launches new journal: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
8. Scott & White Healthcare receives designation as Neuroscience Center of Excellence
9. Culture wires the brain: A cognitive neuroscience perspective
10. Lord Brain Memorial Lecture is launched in recognizing outstanding contribution to neuroscience
11. University Hospitals Neurological Institute earns Neuroscience Center of Excellence designation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Montreal, Canada (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... the pursuit of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high ... low, risk more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was ... his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” ... He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, ... and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their ... to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty Network, affiliated ... Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. , ... most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” He stands ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) sponsors Luke’s Wings 5th Annual ... Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852. The event raised funds ... been wounded in battle and their families. Venture Construction Group is a 2016 Silver ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: ... innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that it was added ... reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and global ... is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive ... awareness of our progress in developing drugs for crucial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who ... challenges of the current process. Many of them do not ... the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those ... offer it at such a high cost that the majority ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: