Our brain activity could be nudged to make healthier choices

Netflix binge-watching versus a hike in the woods. A cheeseburger versus kale salad. Fentanyl versus Tylenol. New UC research from the University California, Berkeley, suggests our brain activity could be influenced to make the healthier choice. In recording moment-by-moment deliberations by macaque monkeys over which option is likely to yield the most fruit juice, UC Berkeley scientists have captured the dynamics of decision-making down to millisecond changes in neurons in the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex. The findings, reported this week in the journal Nature Neuroscience, shed new light on internal decision-making processes — particularly with regard to habitual behaviors — and help target the brain circuitry for implants to treat such neuropsychiatric disorders as anxiety, depression and addiction. “If we can measure a decision in real time, we can potentially also…

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