Researchers conclude that poor quality information is to blame for bad decision making, not faults with neural processing.
Scientists used an electronic prosthetic system to tap into existing circuitry in the brain at the cellular level and record the firing patterns of multiple neurons in the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in decision-making. They then “played” that recording back to the same brain area to electrically stimulate decision-based neural activity. Not only did it restore function, in some cases, it also improved it.
Researchers report they’ve pinpointed the precise location in the human brain, called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, that controls belief and doubt, and which explains why some of us are more gullible than others.
In patients with hoarding disorder, parts of a decision-making brain circuit under-activated when dealing with others’ possessions, but over-activated when deciding whether to keep or discard their own things.