Study on brain function

If for some individuals making a choice is often difficult, regardless of the importance of the decision itself, this may be due to indecision and the way in which brain cells assign a value to different elements. Researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston have identified several neurons (brain cells) that play a role in the way in which individuals operate their choices. Scientists knew that cells in different areas of the brain respond to attributes such as color, taste or quantity. Researchers have identified neurons involved in the allocation of values used to operate the choices. Neurons that have been identified so far encode the value that the subject assigns to the elements available to make a choice; identified neurons encode the value assigned when individuals operating choices based on subjective preferences. Scientists have found neurons in a brain area known as bark orbitofrontale during a study of macaques, seats in the State of having to choose between different flavors and quantity of juice. Researchers have correlated the choices of animals with the activity of neurons and the value assigned to different types of drink. For example, some neurons showed high activity when animals have chosen grape juice or Apple juice. Other neurons instead seem to be involved in the evaluation of orange juice. The choice of beverage made from macaques could be based on the activity of these neurons. Previous research on the brain area showed that local lesions can cause eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive tendencies to gambling and abnormal social behaviour. New findings show an association between the activities of cortex orbitofrontale and the mental process of making a choice. It is believed that deficits in the ability to choose can be caused by a malfunction of this population of neurons, although the hypothesis should be verified with further research


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