Decision-making is shaped by individual differences in the functional brain connectome

Individual differences in decision making competence revealed by multivariate fMRI.

Illinois postdoctoral researcher Tanveer Talukdar performed an analysis of how individual differences in decision-making are associated with specific regions and networks in the brain. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Tanveer Talukdar - doctoral research associate

According to a new study by the University of Illinois, individual differences are associated with variation in specific brain networks. The research suggests that neurobiological differences appear to be important when accounting for one’s susceptibility to biases in judgment and for understanding their competence in decision-making.

Scientists explored whether singular contrasts in cerebrum availability were related with basic leadership, utilizing useful MRI and a far-reaching trial of basic leadership. While earlier investigations of basic leadership have concentrated on bunch impacts or the ways everybody’s brains are comparative, the new examination concentrated on singular contrasts.

A group of researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois, led by psychology professor Aron Barbey and postdoctoral researcher Tanveer Talukdar.

Aron Barbey, a professor of psychology at Illinois, led the study.  Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Aron Barbey, a professor of psychology at Illinois, led the study.
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

Barbey said, “People often take different approaches to decision-making. They might apply different strategies, consider different elements of the problem or assign a value to the options differently.”

The study involved 304 healthy adult participants administered the Adult Decision-Making Competence test, a comprehensive psychological evaluation tool that measures six well-established facets of decision-making – for example, “resistance to framing” and “risk perception”. Scientists also administered resting-state functional MRI to assess functional brain connectivity within each study participant. They didn’t focus merely on individual regions but assessed the entire functional brain connectome – which represents how each region is functionally connected to every other region of the brain.

Talukdar said, “We conducted an analysis of the whole brain, examining the connections among all regions. We examined the functional brain connectome of each individual and then investigated how each individual’s connectome differed from every other individual in the sample.”

Scientists then analyzed how the individual differences they saw in the brain were associated with performance on the Adult Decision-Making Competence test.

They found that functional connectivity within specific brain regions was associated with individual differences in decision-making. As expected, brain regions within the frontal lobe were involved, which are known to support executive functions such as reasoning and problem-solving.

Research indicates that the brain is functionally organized according to intrinsic connectivity networks, which are known to play a central role in specific facets of intelligence. For example, the frontoparietal network regulates executive functions, the ventral attention network supports attention, and the limbic network underlies emotional and social processing,” Talukdar said.

The scientists found that individual contrasts in utilitarian cerebrum availability reflected contrasts in how certain inherent availability systems were locked in. For instance, the measure of “protection from confining,” which surveys whether people’s decisions are powerless to unimportant varieties in an issue depiction, was related to the ventral consideration arrange. The specialists speculated that this system guides thoughtfulness regarding basic parts of the issue, which serves to weaken the encircling predisposition.

Barbey’s gathering is further concentrated how singular contrasts in useful cerebrum network are formed by learning and experience. Their next examination researches whether basic leadership skill can be enhanced by particular intercessions – going from psychological preparing, noninvasive cerebrum incitement, physical wellness preparing, and nourishment – to focus on the mind systems distinguished in the ebb and flow think about.

The paper “Individual differences in decision making competence revealed by multivariate fMRI” is available online. DOI: 10.1002/hbm.24032