A new study finds that individuals with a stronger connection between two specific brain areas have a more cautious financial outlook.
The study analyzed the link between two brain areas - known as the anterior insula and nucleus accumbens - and how the two regions work together.
"Activity in one brain region appears to indicate 'uh oh, I might lose money', but in another it seems to indicate 'oh yay, I could win something'," said Brian Knutson, associate professor of psychology from Stanford University.
‘Individuals with a stronger connection between two specific brain areas - known as the anterior insula and nucleus accumbens - have a more cautious financial outlook.’
"The balance between this 'uh oh' and 'oh yay' activity differs between people and can determine the gambling decisions we make," he added.
In an experiment, the participants were allowed to gamble. Entering an MRI chamber, they could see a roulette wheel and the odds for losing or winning.
In one bet, they had equal odds to win or lose USD 3 and in another, they had greater odds of winning a smaller amount and small odds of losing a lot.
As the participants weighed the various games, the research team tracked activity in the two brain regions. The findings showed that even the cautious ones would sometimes place risky bets.When they showed risky behaviors, the more cautious area in the brain stayed quieter while the enthusiastic region grew more active.