Your brain is made up of billions of brain cells called neurons, which use electricity to communicate with each other. The combination of millions of neurons sending signals at once produces an enormous amount of electrical activity in the brain, which can be detected using sensitive medical equipment (such as an EEG), measuring electricity levels over areas of the scalp.
The combination of electrical activity of the brain is commonly called a BrainWave pattern, because of its cyclic, “wave-like” nature.
The study showed that after a decision is made, activity in the caudate nucleus increases for the selected option and decreases for the rejected one.
The researchers imaged people’s brains as they imagined vacationing in 80 different destinations around the world. After rating how much they would like to travel to each location, participants were asked to decide between similarly rated options — for example, Greece or Thailand. Participants then imagined and rated each location again, and their brains were imaged a second time.
“Re-evaluating our options post-choice may serve an adaptive purpose by increasing an individual’s commitment to the action taken. In the absence of a rapid update of value that concurs with choice, we are likely to second-guess our decisions and actions,” said study author Tali Sharot, PhD, a British Academy postdoctoral fellow at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London.
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