Scientists Can See the Bias in Your Brain – Even Before You Make Your Decision

Brain Wave Scanning Illustration

Research suggests that the intensity of alpha brain waves can indicate whether you are on the brink of making a biased decision.

Brain waves indicate how you will respond to your bias — even before you have a choice to make.

The strength of alpha brain waves reveals if you are about to make a biased decision, according to research recently published in JNeurosci.

Everyone has bias, and neuroscientists can see what happens inside your brain as you succumb to it. The clue comes from alpha brain waves — a pattern of activity when the neurons in the front of your brain fire in rhythm together. Alpha brain waves pop up when people make decisions, but it remains unclear what their role is.

Alpha Brain Waves Bias

The strength of alpha brain waves (left) reveals biased decisions (right). Credit: Grabot and Kayser, JNeurosci 2020

Grabot and Kayser used electroencephalography to monitor the brain activity of adults while they made a decision. The participants saw a picture and heard a sound milliseconds apart and then decided which one came first. Prior to the experiment, the researchers determined if the participants possessed a bias for choosing the picture or sound. Before the first stimulus appeared, the strength of the alpha waves revealed how the participants would decide. Weaker alpha waves meant resisting the bias; stronger alpha waves indicated succumbing to the bias.

Reference: “Alpha Activity Reflects the Magnitude of an Individual Bias in Human Perception” by Laetitia Grabot and Christoph Kayser, 16 March 2020, JNeurosci.
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2359-19.2020

1 Comment on "Scientists Can See the Bias in Your Brain – Even Before You Make Your Decision"

  1. Hussein AL-Janabi | March 16, 2020 at 11:51 am | Reply

    As a courtesy to the scientific researchers may we suggest that you attach the URL for the scientific papers for scientific credibility.

    Thank you

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