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“Your Choice” Motivates You in the Brain: The Emergence of Autonomy Neuroscience

Recent Developments in Neuroscience Research on Human Motivation

ISBN: 978-1-78635-474-7, eISBN: 978-1-78635-473-0

ISSN: 0749-7423

Publication date: 21 November 2016

Abstract

Studies in psychology have long revealed that making personal choice involves multiple motivational consequences. It has only been recent, however, that the literature on neuroscience started to examine the neural underpinnings of personal choice and motivation. This chapter reviews this sparse, but emergent, body of neuroscientific literature to address possible neural correlates underlying personal choice. By conducting the review, we encourage future systematic research programs that address this topic under the new realm of “autonomy neuroscience.” The chapter especially focused on the following motivational aspects: (i) personal choice is rewarding, (ii) personal choice shapes preference, (iii) personal choice changes the perception of outcomes, and (iv) personal choice facilitates motivation and performance. The reviewed work highlighted different aspects of personal choice, but indicated some overlapping brain areas – the striatum and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) – which may play a critical role in motivational processes elicited by personal choice.

Keywords

Citation

Murayama, K., Izuma, K., Aoki, R. and Matsumoto, K. (2016), "“Your Choice” Motivates You in the Brain: The Emergence of Autonomy Neuroscience", Recent Developments in Neuroscience Research on Human Motivation (Advances in Motivation and Achievement, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 95-125. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0749-742320160000019004

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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