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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions,
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This review is from: Bad Moves: How decision making goes wrong, and the ethics of smart drugs (Hardcover)
The quality of our decisions determines to a large extent what we are. "Bad Moves" is an incisive book about the neuroscience behind decision making and the question if we can improve decisions through drugs that enhance cognition. Sahakian and LaBuzetta use patients with dementias, depression, mania and phobias as examples of poor decision making. Plato, in his dialogue "Phaedrus", describes the soul as a charioteer with two winged horses. We can think of the two horses as representing rational and emotional decision making, respectively. The charioteer is driven by the horses, while having to stop them from going their own ways. This book centres around the location of "cold" or rational decision making in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and of "hot" or emotional decision making in the orbital prefrontal cortex. Where this leaves the soul in terms of brain anatomy remains to be seen. After dealing with decision-making mechanisms in the brain, Sahakian and LaBuzetta turn their attention to cognitive enhancers. If drugs that treat cognitive disorders can help people without these disorders to make better decisions, should they be made available? It appears likely that these drugs will be used, because much is at stake for the individual.
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Initial post: 23 Jan 2014 20:57:17 GMT
Prof TBun says:
Phobias are a conditioned response, they are nothing to do with poor decision making. There would be a lot less phobias around if people did not take such a bigoted attitude towards them.
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