Scientists can see the bias in your brain

Scientists can see the bias in your brain
The strength of alpha brain waves (left) reveals biased decisions (right). Credit: Grabot and Kayser, JNeurosci 2020

The strength of alpha brain waves reveals if you are about to make a biased decision, according to research recently published in JNeurosci.

Everyone has , and neuroscientists can see what happens inside your brain as you succumb to it. The clue comes from alpha brain waves—a pattern of activity when the neurons in the front of your brain fire in rhythm together. Alpha brain waves pop up when people make decisions, but it remains unclear what their role is.

Grabot and Kayser used electroencephalography to monitor the activity of adults while they made a decision. The participants saw a picture and heard a sound milliseconds apart and then decided which one came first.

Prior to the experiment, the researchers determined if the participants possessed a bias for choosing the picture or sound. Before the first stimulus appeared, the strength of the alpha waves revealed how the participants would decide. Weaker alpha waves meant resisting the bias; stronger indicated succumbing to the bias.

Explore further

Hearing through lip-reading

More information: Alpha Activity Reflects the Magnitude of an Individual Bias in Human Perception, JNeurosci (2020). DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2359-19.2020
Journal information: Journal of Neuroscience

Citation: Scientists can see the bias in your brain (2020, March 16) retrieved 24 January 2021 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments