How Unconscious Processing Improves Decision-Making
When faced with a difficult decision, it is often suggested to "sleep on it" or take a break from thinking about the decision in order to gain clarity.
Notes that the brain regions working on problems and decisions (illustrated in the photo) continue processing even when an individual is distracted by other important tasks.
Using fMRI technology to image the brain, participants were given a problem to solve and then were distracted by a completely different memorization task. Even though their brains were fully engaged with the new task, images revealed that the same problem solving regions in the brain were "reactivated," meaning they remained working unconsciously.
The research represents our first glimpse into the unconscious processes of the brain, as the participants were completely unaware that they were still thinking about the initial task. Their conscious minds focused on the memorization task, which involves different brain regions, revealing the brain's unconscious processing and multitasking.
The researchers were able to observe that the improved ability to later solve the initial problem was not caused by a taking a mental break, the brain leaving the problem alone for a time. Rather, the brain remained in an active, though unconscious, processing mode, working out the problem while performing other unconnected tasks.
Interested? Click the title or image to read on.
Source is ScienceDaily.com
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