A recent study explains how human brain makes decisions based on the related information.
The study found that when making decisions based on multiple, interdependent factors, people choose based on how these factors correlate with each other, and not based on an ad hoc rule of thumb or through trial and error as was previously thought.
The study identifies the regions of the brain involved in tracking this correlation, which include the insula and the anterior cingulate cortex, both of which have previously been associated with decision making, emotions and awareness.
How we make sense of interdependent factors has until now been unclear.
But researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL, together with collaborators at the California Institute of Technology have now shown that our brains learn the correlation between events.
This allows us to observe the outcome of just one action and then infer the outcomes of other actions without having to sample them individually.
The study was published in the journal Neuron.