Neural Components of Motivational and Decision-Making Processes in the Human Brain

Authors: J. Zelinková 1,2;  T. Urbánek 3;  R. Mareček 1,2;  M. Brázdil 1,2
Authors‘ workplace: Výzkumná skupina pro behaviorální a sociální neurovědy, Středoevropský technologický institut (CEITEC), MU, Brno 1;  I. neurologická klinika LF MU a FN u sv. Anny v Brně 2;  Psychologický ústav Akademie věd ČR 3
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2011; 74/107(4): 419-427
Category: Review Article


Motivational and decision-making processes are important tools in both making daily decisions and overall survival of the physical subject. In the last decade many studies have investigated how these processes function in the human brain. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has played a large part in research into the relationships between motivation and decision-making on the one hand and cerebral activity on the other. Current results suggest that certain areas of the brain are functionally associated with motivational and decision-making processes. This article provides an overview of the most significant recent studies into seeking to identify the structures of the human brain involved in motivational and decision-making processes. In the past, much attention was paid to “gain motivation” (for example, towards financial reward), but current science also focuses on moral motivation, the study of which is addressed in the following part of the article. Some diseases associated with motivational and decision-making disorders are shown in the last part of the article.

Key words:
motivation – decision-making processes – functional magnetic resonance imaging


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