New discoveries about human risk aversion and decision-making

November 14, 2011

Washington -- What makes us decide to play it safe or take a risk? Scientists presented research today identifying regions and functions of the brain involved in such decisions to provide fresh insights into how humans explore the unknown. These findings also add to a relatively new area of inquiry -- neuroeconomics and the study of economic behavior. The research was presented at Neuroscience 2011, the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Specifically, today's new findings show that: Other recent findings discussed show that: "These studies help deepen our understanding of the highly complex mechanisms involved in decision-making," said press conference moderator Michael Platt, PhD, of Duke University, an expert in cognitive behavior and the brain. "Such research is not only helping us understand how and why we make the choices we do, but it also may lead to more effective interventions for some of the many brain disorders that are characterized by poor decision-making."
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View full release and summaries at www.sfn.org/newsroom.

This research was supported by national funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations.

Society for Neuroscience

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