Where the brain turns quality and quantity into value

Where the brain turns quality and quantity into value
Computation of value from component parts in the anterior cingulate cortex (A) Overlapping effects of quality, quantity, and their interaction in the ACC. A conjunction analysis revealed overlapping representations of each component (p<0.05uncorrected) [green] in the ACC, suggesting a nexus for the computation of value. A complementary analysis using an explicit representation of integrated value as a parametric modulator identified the same region (p<0.05FWE-corrected) [turquoise]. Timecourse displayed for illustration purposes. (B) Decision > Non-Decision trials. The ACC also showed higher activity in trials upon which a decision was made compared to valuation trials [red], overlapping with the conjunction analysis identified in panel a [green]. Credit: de Berker et al., JNeurosci (2018)

Researchers have pinpointed a part of the human brain responsible for "on-the-fly" decision-making. According to the findings published in JNeurosci, the anterior cingulate cortex integrates disparate information about the desirability and amount of an option to inform choice.

Choosing between apples and oranges requires one to consider both the type of fruit and the number of items available. Equipped with this information, decision-makers weigh the quality and quantity of the options to choose the one that meets their needs.

Using to assess where participants prefer to shop (quality) and how much they are given to spend (quantity), Archy de Berker and colleagues studied how the brain combines these two components into subjective value.

The researchers identified multiple brain regions involved in this process. Activity in the was associated with quality, whereas activity in the intra-parietal sulcus was associated with quantity.

Although several other parts of the brain were linked to the interaction between quality and quantity, the was the only one activated by all three factors.


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More information: DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0706-18.2018
Journal information: Journal of Neuroscience

Citation: Where the brain turns quality and quantity into value (2018, November 19) retrieved 21 May 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-11-brain-quality-quantity.html
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