The influence of memory is mediated by increasing communication between the relevant brain areas. The neural and cognitive mechanism of our decision-making process had not been studied in depth until now.

"Our study builds a bridge between two central research fields of psychology, that is, memory and decision-making research," said lead author Sebastian Gluth from the University of Basel.

The team of psychologists asked 30 hungry young people to rate 48 snacks in order of preference and the snacks were presented on a computer screen in association with a particular location. The results showed that the subjects tended to prefer the snacks that they were able to recall better.

Furthermore, they chose the snacks they could recall better even if they had rated them lower in the initial task and therefore considered them less attractive.

The research team used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the neural mechanisms of memory-based decisions and developed a mathematical model to represent the decision-making process and the influence of memory.

The study was published in the scientific journal Neuron.


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