15 Sep Your Parietal Brain Size May Predict Your Financial Risk Tolerance
Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Tymula: We found that the grey matter volume in the posterior parietal cortex, a region long known to be involved in decision-making, correlates with individual tolerance for financial risks.
Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Tymula: Previous research has demonstrated associations between brain structure and cognitive and personality traits so we expected to find a similar relationship with economic preferences.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Tymula: Our findings suggest that clinical structural brain scans could be used to infer something about patient’s decision making. More research is needed to establish whether structural changes in the brain lead to changes in risk tolerance or whether the structure of the brain is affected by our everyday risky choices.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Tymula: We would like to establish a causal link between financial risk taking and brain structure and understand how this relates to aging which is associated with changes in both brain structure and preferences for risk.
Sharon Gilaie-Dotan, Agnieszka Tymula, Nicole Cooper, Joseph W. Kable, Paul W. Glimcher, Ifat Levy
The Journal of Neuroscience, 10 September 2014, 34(37): 12394-12401; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1600-14.2014