Monday, August 10, 2009

Bifurcated Decision Making

The Dana Foundation today published an interesting and illuminating review of the book How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer.

The book, obviously, is all about how we make decisions and the emotional vs. rational processes that go into decision making. Mr. Lehrer apparently spends time discussing the different centers of the brain that are responsible for processing information that goes into decision making. Scott Heuttel's (the reviewer's) response to this is essentially, "Wait a minute - it's not so simple." His point is that recent research has indicated that rational thought is not eliminated when the prefrontal cortex is taken out of the decision making chain.

This is where I am lucky, in a way, not to have the PhD after my name. While I have to strike a balance between keeping things simple and not blowing up the science, I'm not expected to have the same background in neurology of these gentlemen. That said, I do discuss in detail the bifurcated decision making that happens in all of us - but my point of view if more focused on the genetic and instinctual vs. cognitive/rationale processes. And I'm not going to try and slice up which part of the brain handles each process - that's above my pay grade!

No comments:

Post a Comment