Monday, July 22, 2013 | Categories: Episodes
Image credit Gary Dincher
Decisions decisions decisions. We make hundreds a day. Everything from whether to get out of bed, to making an offer on a new house, to which brand of jeans we want to buy is processed by the brain before we decide.Neuroscientists don't have the whole picture yet on how we make decisions but they do know about one part of the process - the reward system. Figuring out how to trigger a reward in your brain is key to selling product, and of course we all know that advertisers everywhere want to figure out the mechanisms underlying it.
Research suggests that we create mental models of how the world works. Some we are born with and some we develop through experience. Neuroscientist Dr. Read Montague, director of the Human Neuroimaging Lab and Computational Psychiatry Unit at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute appears in this week's show to explain how we use mental models to weigh our options with when faced with making a decision.