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Human choices are remarkably susceptible to the manner in which options are presented. This so-called "framing effect" represents a striking violation of standard economic accounts of human rationality, although its underlying neurobiology is not understood. We found that the framing effect was specifically associated with amygdala activity, suggesting a key role for an emotional system in mediating decision biases. Moreover, across individuals, orbital and medial prefrontal cortex activity predicted a reduced susceptibility to the framing effect. This finding highlights the importance of incorporating emotional processes within models of human choice and suggests how the brain may modulate the effect of these biasing influences to approximate rationality.

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/science.1128356

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science

Publication Date

04/08/2006

Volume

313

Pages

684 - 687

Keywords

Adult, Amygdala, Brain Mapping, Choice Behavior, Cognition, Emotions, Female, Gambling, Games, Experimental, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Models, Psychological, Prefrontal Cortex