Can mental fatigue alter your economic choices?

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  • Yes, as fatigue sets in, decisions are made with poor judgment
  • Maybe, since higher glutamate in the prefrontal cortex causes an interruption in decision-making
  • No, it depends on several other factors than mental fatigue alone
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    • #29274
      Seema Waghmareswaghmare

      “No one understands mental fatigue, how it is formed, or why we experience it,” said research author Antonius Wiehler.
      The study, “A neuro-metabolic account of why daylong cognitive work alters the control of economic decisions, “suggests that strenuous cognitive work accumulates glutamate in the prefrontal cortex.

      The prefrontal cortex oversees many high-level functions, including decision-making. This study investigated the neuroimaging data of 40 individuals. To elicit mental fatigue, the researchers performed two cognitive control tasks. One group of participants conducted a simpler version of the tasks, whereas the other completed a much more challenging version. Both groups, however, completed the tasks within the same amount of time.

      The individuals carried out the tasks inside and outside of a brain scanner. Participants who performed the challenging cognitive tasks had reduced pupil dilation. They also preferred instant benefits over waiting or more effort to earn higher rewards. They had a higher level of glutamate in prefrontal cortex synapses, which was significant. It was observed as cognitive fatigue sets in, control over decisions shifts toward low-cost behaviors in these participants.

      According to the findings, cognitive effort causes altered functional build-up of toxic substances; thus, fatigue is a signal that compels us to stop working, but for a different reason: to preserve the integrity of brain functions.

      • This topic was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Seema Waghmareswaghmare.
      • This topic was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Seema Waghmareswaghmare.
      • This topic was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Seema Waghmareswaghmare.
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