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The Brain And Decision Making

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - There are some decisions that can have a big impact on your life and they can often be filled with questions. We all have had to make those gut-wrenching decisions. You know the ones filled with uncertainty.

Studies have shown that the emotional processing areas of the brain are triggered when a person faces decisions like this. Researchers say people are more comfortable with decisions when the risks are known, compared to difficult choices where the risks are uncertain due to missing information.

Now, here's how they studied the brain information. They used imaging techniques and found the amygdala and the orbital frontal cortex, both emotion processing areas of the brain, become more active when people are given a tough decision.

Not surprisingly, people who damage those areas of the brain have more trouble making tough decisions.

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