Category Archives: Decision-Making

April 10

Main-lining the Secret Truth of the Universe: Pessimism and the Brain (part 1)

Cohle: I’d consider myself a realist, alright? But in philosophical terms I’m what’s called a pessimist. Hart: Um, okay, what’s that mean? Cohle: Means I’m bad at parties. Hart: Let me tell you, you ain’t great outside of parties either. A friend in college told me that she only felt like she knew the truth when […]

March 13

The value of values affirmation in education and beyond

The fields of social and cognitive psychology constantly provide examples of how small changes in the environment can impact cognition which may seem shocking in their simplicity. Cleaning one’s hands may lead to an increased feeling of moral cleanliness [1], a patch of gray may appear as much darker or lighter in brightness depending on […]

December 24

Neuro-Gifting

‘Tis the season…for a lot of things. No matter what holiday you celebrate, December tends to be a month to get together with family, give each other gifts, and if you’re still feeling generous, give money to charity. The end of this month also tends to involve the consumption of a great deal of alcohol…stay […]

November 27

Why We Buy: An Infographic

Before waiting in line, tackling the crowds, and opening up your wallet this holiday weekend, mentally prepare yourself for the shopping frenzy of Black Friday by exploring the neuroscience behind why we buy.

October 10

neurophilosodiction

Neuroscientists and philosophers swim together in a pool of loaded words and phrases: “consciousness”, “free will”, “attention”, “decision making”, and so forth. Because defining these concepts is important to both fields, semantic debate tends to muddy the water. For instance, do we have free will?  Don’t worry…I’m not here to convince you that my view […]

June 18

Do monkeys play fair? Staging an ultimatum game in the ultimate social primate

Every now and then, my roommate will lean in the frame of my door and pose a simple scenario: “Will you mop the floors if I wash the dishes?” I usually respond positively to the ultimatum (I really can’t stand doing dishes), and when the moment is right, put on some Enya and graciously clean […]

How mice decide: Stimulation of striatal D1 and D2 neurons bias choice in opposite ways

“It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”  –Dumbledore “We are our choices.” –Jean-Paul Sartre  The question of how animals make decisions based upon prior experiences has plagued neuroscience since the field’s inception. An animal wants to make a decision in such a manner that it […]