News articles tagged with "decision_making"

07/07/2014 12:00:03
Kimm Fesenmaier
Investment magnate Warren Buffett has famously suggested that investors should try to "be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy only when others are fearful." That turns out to be excellent advice, according to the results of a new study by researchers at Caltech and Virginia Tech that looked at the brain activity and behavior of people trading in experimental markets where price bubbles formed. In such markets, where price far outpaces actual value, it appears that wise traders receive an early warning signal from their brains—a warning that makes them feel uncomfortable and urges them to sell, sell, sell.
11/12/2012 00:18:16
Marcus Woo
For speed daters, first impressions are everything. But it's more than just being hot or not. Whether or not we like to admit it, we all may make snap judgments about a new face. Perhaps nowhere is this truer than in speed dating, during which people decide on someone's romantic potential in just a few seconds. How people make those decisions, however, is not well understood. But now, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have found that people make such speed-dating decisions based on a combination of two different factors that are related to activity in two distinct parts of the brain.
09/26/2012 09:03:12
Marcus Woo
Almost everyone knows the feeling: you see a delicious piece of chocolate cake on the table, but as you grab your fork, you think twice. The cake is too fattening and unhealthy, you tell yourself. Maybe you should skip dessert. But the cake still beckons.
09/10/2012 07:00:00
Brian Bell

The National Institute of Mental Health has awarded a five-year, $9 million grant to a research group Caltech to study the neurobiology of social decision making.

The grant establishes a Silvio O. Conte Center for Neuroscience Research, where researchers will use electrophysiology and functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how humans make social decisions. 

08/21/2012 07:00:00
Katie Neith

The frontal lobes are the largest part of the human brain, and damage to this area can result in profound impairments in reasoning and decision making. To find out more about what different parts of the frontal lobes do, neuroscientists at Caltech teamed up with researchers at the world's largest registry of brain-lesion patients. By mapping the brain lesions of these patients, the team was able to show that reasoning and behavioral control are dependent on different regions of the lobes than the areas called upon when making a decision.

03/27/2012 15:01:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

When jurors consider shortening the prison sentences of convicted criminals, they use parts of the brain associated with sympathy and making moral judgments, according to new work by Caltech neuroeconomist Colin Camerer and colleagues. They found that the most lenient jurors show heightened levels of activity in a brain region associated with discomfort, pain, and imagining the pain that others feel.

10/10/2011 07:00:00
Lori Oliwenstein

Researchers from Caltech have isolated a very specific difference in how high-functioning people with autism think about other people, finding that—in actuality—they don’t tend to think about what others think of them at all.

09/21/2011 16:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

When making decisions based on multiple interdependent factors—such as what combination of stocks and bonds to invest in—humans look at how the factors correlate with each other, according to a new study by researchers from Caltech and University College London.

09/02/2011 07:00:00
Marcus Woo

The sky is gray, but you're not sure if the clouds will clear or rain will pour. Do you grab an umbrella when you go outside? Such decisions are filled with ambiguity, and we're faced with them daily. "Almost every decision has some ambiguity," says Kota Saito, an economist who develops empirical and mathematical models on how people make decisions—insight that can inform socioeconomic policy. This fall, he joins Caltech as an assistant professor and the newest faculty member of the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

07/26/2011 07:00:00
Lori Oliwenstein

Choosing what to have for dinner, it turns out, is a complex neurological exercise. But, according to researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), it's one that can be influenced by a simple shifting of attention toward the healthy side of life. And that shift may provide strategies to help us all make healthier choices—not just in terms of the foods we eat, but in other areas, like whether or not we pick up a cigarette.

07/20/2011 17:00:00
Marcus Woo

Artificial intelligence has been the inspiration for countless books and movies, as well as the aspiration of countless scientists and engineers. Researchers at Caltech have now taken a major step toward creating artificial intelligence—not in a robot or a silicon chip, but in a test tube. The researchers are the first to have made an artificial neural network out of DNA, creating a circuit of interacting molecules that can recall memories based on incomplete patterns, just as a brain can.

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