Showing posts with the label Choices

Having Too Many Choices Can Paralyze Our Brain, Scientists Confirm

Scientists have mapped out how choice overload works in the brain, showing how our minds can back off from making a decision if the number of options gets too big. This kind of indecision has been noted in previous studies, but this new research identifies the areas of the brain that help us make a judgement between making a choice or not – specifically the anterior cingulate cortex or ACC (where we weigh benefits) and the striatum (where we determine value). When 19 volunteers were given a choice of landscape images to print on a t-shirt or a mug, activity in these two brain areas increased as the number of options went up, according to readings from an fMRI machine. However, once the choice of pictures went above 12, activity started trailing off again. The scientists say this shows how the striatum and ACC interact – weighing the potential for reward (finding the perfect picture to print) against the amount of work it’s going to take to reach that reward (sifti