Neuroscientists Investigate Lotteries to Study How the Brain Evaluates Risk
People are faced with thousands of choices every day, some inane and some risky. Scientists know that the areas of the brain that evaluate risk are the same for each person, but what makes the value assigned to risk different for individuals?
To answer this question, a new video article in Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to characterize subjective risk assessment while subjects choose between different lotteries to play.
The article, a joint effort from laboratories at Yale School of Medicine and New York University, is led by Yale’s Dr. Ifat Levy. Dr. Levy explains, “This procedure allows us to examine all kinds of normal and pathological behaviors focusing on risk assessment. It could explain things like substance abuse and over-eating from a different perspective than how it is usually characterized.”