“Once we started using money, we found very reliable activation in these emotional circuits. This suggests that it’s not just sex, it’s not just drugs, it’s not just food that activates these circuits, money also activates these circuits and it does so very powerfully.”
Could the fact that an ancient part of our brain gets excited by money explain some of the frenzied behavior by financial traders?
“In general the lower the area of the brain, the farther back it goes in evolution. So we humans still have these subcortical areas deep in the brain that are ancient. This part of the brain is called the Nucleus Accumbense.”
Activated Nucleus Accumbense seen fMRI scan
It gets triggered by the most primal human needs from the standpoint of survival, it makes a lot of sense that natural rewards like food and sex and so forth would activate this circuit, that makes you go out and get those rewards.
Can a new science that aims to incorporate human psychology into finance – behavioral economics – help us make better financial decisions?
Psychologists are using powerful brain scanners to explore the mysteries of the human mind, especially emotion. “I started looking in the brain as I was interested in emotion and I was convinced there must be something in there that could give us a handle on emotion.”
Thanks for sharing this interesting topic!
Psychologist Brian Knutson wants to know how emotions affect one of the oldest parts of our brain that evolves so long ago, we share it with many creatures even lizards.
Out of curiosity Knutson tries to find things that excited as much as the prospect of sex and drugs.
The program reveals how our emotions interfere with our decision-making and explores controversial new arguments about the world of finance.