Scientists Study Brain Activity, Explain Reasons Behind Indecisiveness

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In a new study, researchers have found that the strength of alpha brain waves reveals if you are about to make a biased decision.

Written By Vishal Tiwari | Mumbai | Updated On:
Scientists intimate reasons behind feeling indecisive in a study

In a new study, researchers have found that the strength of alpha brain waves reveals if you are about to make a biased decision. According to researchers, biases in sensory perception can arise from both experimental manipulations and personal trait-like features. Everyone has a bias, and neuroscientists can see what happens inside your brain as you get used to it.

The clue comes from alpha brain waves -- a pattern of activity when the neurons in the front of your brain fire in rhythm together. The Alpha brain waves pop up when people make decisions, but it remains unclear what their role is.

Why we feel indecisive

According to the findings published in the journal JNeurosci, researchers Laetitia Grabot and Christoph Kayser from the Bielefeld University in Germany, used electroencephalography to monitor the brain activity of adults while they made a decision.
To understand the study well, the researchers conducted a small experiment and made the participants see a picture and hear sound milliseconds apart and then decided which one came first.

Post the experiment, the researchers determined if the participants possessed a bias for choosing the picture or sound. According to the researchers, before the first stimulus appeared, the strength of the alpha waves revealed how the participants would decide, the researchers said.

Also, it has been noted that humans develop physically, emotionally, and socially, and learn to shape their various characteristics into a sense of self, or social identity. This social identity is based on our experience in the world as compared to other people. .

We form our sense of self-based on those who are similar to us and those who are different. In part, we are basing our own identity on our perceptions of others.

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The results of the study revealed that weaker alpha waves meant resisting the bias; stronger alpha waves indicated succumbing to the bias.

"These results also hold after temporal recalibration and are specific to the alpha band, suggesting that alpha-band activity reflects, directly or indirectly, processes that help to overcome an individual's momentary bias in perception," the researchers wrote. 

"We propose that combined with established roles of parietal alpha in the encoding of sensory information frontal alpha reflects complementary mechanisms influencing perceptual decisions," they added.

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