Brain circuit found that judges people on first impressions

Monday, March 9, 2009 - 07:07 in Psychology & Sociology

'It's almost instantaneous and you can't stop doing it': neuroscientists match scans to human decision makingScientists have recorded the gentle flicker of activity that lights up the brain when we form our first impressions of people. The study shows how age-old brain circuitry that evolved to make snap decisions on the importance of objects in the environment is now used in social situations.Brain scans taken while volunteers formed opinions of new acquaintances found activity surged in an ancient neural circuit that helps us make a rapid assessment of a person's character."Humans have always been engaged in making decisions on what's important and what's not, and social decision making is taking advantage of these primary systems in the brain," said Daniela Schiller, who led the study at New York University."Whenever you need to assign value to something, you use the same mechanism, whether it's an inanimate object or a person. It's...

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