Anticipation of the Future Shapes Self-Controlled Choice －The Human Brain Awaiting a Reward that have not ever been Experienced－
January 25, 2021
The University of Melbourne
Daiki Tanaka, a former graduate student and Dr. Koji Jimura, an associate professor at Keio University, Dr. Shinsuke Suzuki, an associate professor at the University of Melbourne, and Drs. Kiyoshi Nakahara, a professor, Masaki Takeda, a professor, and Ryuta Aoki, a research associate, at Kochi University of Technology, discovered that the prefrontal cortex of the human brain is associated with anticipations of favorable future events that have not been experienced ever. The prefrontal mechanism was enhanced in individuals forming greater degree of self-controlled preference based on past experiences. The current study suggests that in situations without past experiences, anticipation of the future events enables long-term optimal behavior. The prefrontal cortex mechanisms involved in future anticipations are implicated in psychopathology such as drug and alcohol abuses. This study was published in the December 9 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience issued by the Society for Neuroscience.