Medical Xpress - "When Making Decisions, Monkeys Use Different Brain Areas To Weigh Value And Availability"

New York, NY
 – August 30, 2017  –– 

There are many calculations at play in our minds when we make a decision, whether we are aware of them or not. New research is showing for the first time in monkeys which parts of the brain are involved in the two-pronged decision-making process that determines an expected value. "For a long time we thought that representations of value and probability were being evaluated in the same, single part of the brain,” said Peter Rudebeck, PhD, assistant professor of neuroscience and psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the lead author of the new study. "What's exciting here is that we're showing that it's being done in two different parts of the brain, which are separate both functionally and anatomically." Dr. Rudenbeck added, "The animals were able to make a decision based on probability or value alone, but when they had to combine the two, they were less able to do that, this lines up with what we've seen in humans, because we know that people who have brain damage in that area also have trouble with making decisions."

- Peter Rudebeck, PhD, Assistant Professor, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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