Natural Rationality | decision-making in the economy of nature


Gains and Losses in the Brain

A new lesion study that suggests a dissociation between the neural processsing of gains and losses:

We found that individuals with lesions to the amygdala, an area responsible for processing emotional responses, displayed impaired decision making when considering potential gains, but not when considering potential losses. In contrast, patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, an area responsible for integrating cognitive and emotional information, showed deficits in both domains. We argue that this dissociation provides evidence that adaptive decision making for risks involving potential losses may be more difficult to disrupt than adaptive decision making for risks involving potential gains

Weller, J. A., Levin, I. P., Shiv, B., & Bechara, A. (2007). Neural Correlates of Adaptive Decision Making for Risky Gains and Losses. Psychological Science, 18(11), 958-964.