Journal article

Hard Decisions Shape the Neural Coding of Preferences

Katharina Voigt, Carsten Murawski, Sebastian Speer, Stefan Bode

The Journal of Neuroscience | Society for Neuroscience | Published : 2019


Hard decisions between equally valued alternatives can result in preference changes, meaning that subsequent valuations for chosen items increase and decrease for rejected items. Previous research suggests that this phenomenon is a consequence of cognitive dissonance reduction after the decision, induced by the mismatch between initial preferences and decision outcomes. In contrast, this functional magnetic resonance imaging and eye-tracking study with male and female human participants found that preferences are already updated online during the process of decision-making. Preference changes were predicted from activity in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and precuneus while making hard ..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Funding Acknowledgements

This study was supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DE 140100350) to S.B. We thank Simon Lilburn and Jacob Paul for helpful discussions, and Sophia Bock, William Turner, and Richard McIntyre for support with MRI data acquisition.