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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What is the Reason for Risky Behaviour?

Generally we tend to observe teenagers always eager to take risks and the elders or the older age people always giving them suggestions  to avert from taking risks. So what exactly is the reason behind it? We may think of factors like wisdom or learned experience but the new research suggests otherwise and   attributes this to the gray matter of the brain.

What is the Reason for Risky Behaviour?


Researchers at Yale and New York University found that gray matter in the brain region called right posterior parietal cortex is responsible for taking decisions that involve risk. They found that adults who are less inclined to take risk have less gray matter.



The researchers asked volunteers to play game involving risk. The age group of the volunteers range from 18 year 65 years. The volunteers were given two options one that involved guaranteed gain of $5 and other option was a lottery that to earn between $5 and $120 with varying chances of winning or losing.

As expected by researchers, volunteers who chose guaranteed gain are older than those that opted for lottery. They also carried brain scans of all the volunteers obtained through an MRI technique called Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM). The brain scans revealed volunteers with lower levels of gray matter chose to avoid taking  risk.




Dr Ifat Levy, Associate professor of comparative medicine and neuroscience at Yale University and senior author of the research study said that older people tend to avoid taking risk as there is less time to fix the damage that arises as a result of risk. Also for older people, little amount of money and food are enough to sustain themselves. In case of young adults, they have to sustain themselves and also take care of the offspring’s as a result safer option may not be sufficient to cater their necessities. 

The research findings are published in the journal nature communications.

Source:Live science

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