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This New Study Confirmed How The Human Brain Chooses Between Risky Decisions On A Neural Level

contrastwerkstatt - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

No matter how big or small, humans are confronted with decisions every day. Do you opt for a bagel or English muffin in the morning? Are you going to visit the gym or cozy up with some Netflix?

And, of course, the larger the decision, the more stressful actually making a choice can feel. Is now a good time to sell your home, or will the real estate market see an even bigger upswing? Should you try out a new career path or stick to what you know?

Making decisions is just a normal part of the human experience. So, the exact mechanisms that underly our decision-making processes have long been a focus of neuroscientific research.

And interestingly, a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan has confirmed a proposed idea known as Prospect Theory.

Prospect Theory was first introduced during the 1970s and stated that people are loss-averse. In other words, humans are more likely to make decisions– or take risks– that will help them avoid economic losses.

“The general concept is that if two choices are put before an individual, both equal, with one presented in terms of potential gains and the other in terms of possible losses, the former option will be chosen,” according to Investopedia.

And over the past decades, this theory has been widely accepted and supported by thousands of studies.

However, there have been severe limitations in terms of human neuroimaging. Essentially, scientists were unable to determine if individual brain neurons actually follow the theory’s proposed thought pattern– until now.

The research team was able to observe this theory in action by first training rhesus monkeys to perform two different lottery tasks.

contrastwerkstatt – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

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