Making good decisions isn’t always easy, even when we know what the “better” choice is. Although researchers know which areas of our brains create and process values-based information, they still don’t fully understand why we make the decisions we do. As Canada Research Chair in Decision Neuroscience, Dr. Cendri Hutcherson is on a quest to answer this question.
She and her research team are building computer models that simulate and predict human decision-making. They are using these to understand how rational adaptations to limits on time and attention influence how people make choices and why this can result in choice difficulties and bias. In particular, they are studying how limits on cognitive resources—such as time pressure, cognitive busyness, stress and fatigue—affect our decision-making. They are also identifying neural correlates of information sampling decisions and investigating how prioritized information sampling processes relate to achieving goals in the real world.