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Choice Overload Explained

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Published on Oct 1, 2018

Using FMRI machines to monitor brain activity as test subjects wrestle with an abundance of choices, Prof. Colin Camerer and researchers at Caltech have identified the parts of the brain responsible for choice overload.

Learn more at www.caltech.edu


CHOICE OVERLOAD explained

Researchers have long known
that we are overwhelmed by too many choices

Now, Caltech researchers have discovered
what’s happening inside our brains

FMRI brainscans reveal increased activity in two parts of the brain:
The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) - weighs cost-benefits of actions
The striatum - considers “should-i-do-this-again?”

Caltech researchers offered test subjects different choices and found

Brain activity ramps up as options are added
Activity peaks with about 12 options
Then drops off as more options are added

More options means more rewards but
too many options require too much work to evaluate outcomes
and our brains simply choose not to choose

Learn more at Caltech.edu

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