Do you always find it difficult to decide what to order for lunch? According to researchers, this is due to the phenomenon of choice overload, which occurs as a result of too many choices being available to your brain.
A study conducted at California Institute of Technology by Colin Camerer reveals new insights into choice overload, including the parts of the brain responsible for it, and how many options the brain actually prefers when it is making a choice.
In the study, volunteers were presented with pictures of scenic landscapes that they could have printed on a piece of merchandise such as a coffee mug. Each participant was offered a variety of sets of images, containing six, 12, or 24 pictures. They were asked to make their decisions while a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine recorded activity in their brains. As a control, the volunteers were asked to browse the images again, but this time their image selection was made randomly by a computer.