Friday, January 26, 2007

You've made up your mind before you know it...

Yet another morsel for neuro-marketers and neuro-ethicists: Hampton and O'Doherty report functional MRI data showing that the outcome of a reward-related decision can be predicted with great accuracy before subjects are required to make a choice or know what physical actions will be required. In other words, the decision of a subject can be read before the action is executed. Out of all the regions studied the combined signals from three specific brain areas (anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and ventral striatum) were found to provide all of the information sufficient to decode subjects' decisions. The work suggests the existence of a specific network of regions in encoding information relevant to subsequent behavioral choice.

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