Subconscious Brain Processes Improve Decision Making

Conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, a new scientific study has found that people make better decisions about buying new cars after they have been distracted by an unrelated task.

What's the Latest Development?


A new scientific study suggests that getting distracted mid-thought helps us to make better decisions later on. Conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, the study found that people made better decisions about buying new cars after they had been distracted by an unrelated task. "But did this effect occur because the distraction period provided an opportunity for the brain to take a break from decision-making and then return to the problem with a fresh look? Or alternatively, does the brain continue to unconsciously process decision information during this distraction period?"

What's the Big Idea?

By creating images of the participants' brains during the study, researchers concluded that the brain subconsciously processes information, helping us to make better decisions. "When the participants were initially learning information about the cars and other items, the neuroimaging results showed activation in the visual and prefrontal cortices, regions that are known to be responsible for learning and decision-making. Additionally, during the distractor task, both the visual and prefrontal cortices continued to be active—or reactivated—even though the brain was consciously focused on number memorization."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Kurzweil AI

Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Human beings are psychologically hardwired to fear differences
  • Several recent studies show evidence that digital spaces exacerbate the psychology which contributes to tribalism
  • Shared experiences of awe, such as space travel, or even simple shared meals, have surprising effectives for uniting opposing groups
Keep reading Show less

Drug prevention advice for parents

How to talk to kids responsibly about drugs.

Videos
  • The majority of kids are going to experiment with drugs at some point in their lives, mostly in their teens and early 20s.
  • While many parents might balk at allowing their children to experiment, it's important to remember that not all drugs are the same.
  • There are some warning signs,, however. Neuroscience journalist Maia Szalavitz walks us through some of the signs to look out for.
Keep reading Show less

10 philosophy books to develop a diverse metaphysical perspective

There are many ways to posit the fundamental nature of reality.

Mind & Brain
  • After thousands of years, and an infinite amount of novel experiences, there are today many dueling schools of philosophical thought.
  • A great philosophical background takes into account a number of metaphysical positions and ideas.
  • These 10 philosophy books all take on the questions of existence in a unique and varied manner.
Keep reading Show less

10 common traits of self-actualized people

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is updated for the 21st century in a new study.

Pixabay
Mind & Brain
  • Maslow's famous "Hierarchy of Needs" describes different levels of human motivation.
  • A new study updates the hierarchy through modern methods.
  • The research shows that self-actualized people share 10 specific traits.
Keep reading Show less