Neuroscience

Decisions and their future implications

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Science  09 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6415, pp. 652
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6415.652-b

We constantly make choices. It is often important to consider not only the short-term but also the longer-term implications of a choice, also known as its prospective value. In a combined decision-making and brain-scanning study, Kolling et al. found that when humans make sequential decisions, they do not only consider their immediately available options. Instead, they incorporate the average value of future options, their variability, and the time frame or search horizon, as well as search costs. Furthermore, humans even consider individual capacities and preferences for making decisions in the future. Brain activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex represents prospective value, but when there is an increased need to overcome costs, activity in the ventral striatum and perigenual anterior cingulate cortex is more strongly coupled.

Neuron 99, 1069 (2018).

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