News of the WeekNeuroscience

The Good, the Bad, and the Anterior Cingulate

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Science  22 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5563, pp. 2193-2194
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5563.2193a

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On page 2279, psychologists report that electrical activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)--an area tucked into the crease between the two cerebral hemispheres--registers financial wins and losses as people play a gambling game. The authors believe this brain activity may represent an immediate emotional reaction to the outcomes. The findings add a twist to theories on the role of the ACC and may provide insight into how decisions are swayed by emotion.