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Which part of the brain generates doubt? © Getty Images

Which part of the brain generates doubt?

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Um, well, we're not quite sure... the brain is complex enough to figure out without throwing doubt into the mix.

Asked by: Jack Catalano, US

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Researchers recently discovered that patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (located behind the eyes), had a ‘doubt-deficit’, in that they were unusually gullible in response to misleading adverts: for example, an advert for a too-good-to-be-true painkiller. But it’s important to note that it’s very difficult to link complex psychological states – such as the experience of doubt – to specific parts of the brain. Many other neural regions are likely to be involved in the subjective experience of doubt, including more emotional areas, buried deeper in the brain.


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Authors

Dr Christian Jarrett is a cognitive neuroscientist, science writer and author. He is the Deputy Editor of Psyche, the sister magazine to Aeon that illuminates the human condition through psychology, philosophy and the arts. Jarrett also created the British Psychological Society's Research Digest blog and was the first ever staff journalist on the Society's magazine, The Psychologist. He is author of Great Myths of The Brain and Be Who You Want: Unlocking the Science of Personality Change.

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