To make a selection, the brain turns to unconscious memories

October 13, 2012 17:28

The main area of memory in our brain is the hippocampus, scientists have long known about its role in the conversion of short-term memory to long-term.

Researchers at Columbia University (USA) decided to see if he is not involved in decision making. Volunteers for the experiment, were the following. First, they were shown pairs of pictures in which a face, or any part of the body landscape side by side with a colored circle. Pairs of images have been constant, then there is a certain range was always with a particular landscape. In the second part of the experiment showed only the colored circles, but some of them had to choose: for it was given a cash reward.

Finally, the third stage of the subjects again showed a couple of pictures, but walked away from the circles of landscapes and people. In each pair, again had to choose an illustration to get the prize, but this time the choice left to chance: the man does not know what to choose.

There can be a chain of associations. The man in the third stage should choose an image, but does not know what, and then he remembers the first stage, where this image was associated with a certain circle, which is the second stage brought a bonus. Perhaps, and picture related to it, too, will give a reward? .. Subjects were not aware of anything, but to do so. And, most importantly, this chain confirmed fMRI brain scans: The more active a person worked the hippocampus in the second stage ("circle — Fee"), was the stronger associative choice in the third stage of the experiment.

Important role also played by the hippocampus striatum, which is part of the reinforcement. That is, when I had to make a choice, the brain accesses memory and the hippocampus prompted a decision based on good feeling of reinforcement.

It is especially important in these data is that such associative chains can not be realized by man, but is widely used by the brain. Past experience does influence our behavior, and it seems, is not the invention of psychologists and psychoanalysts, and the general principle of the brain.

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