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HeuristicsThe Foundations of Adaptive Behavior$
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Gerd Gigerenzer, Ralph Hertwig, and Thorsten Pachur

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744282

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744282.001.0001

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Why You Think Milan Is Larger than Modena: Neural Correlates of the Recognition Heuristic

Why You Think Milan Is Larger than Modena: Neural Correlates of the Recognition Heuristic

Chapter:
(p.524) Chapter 25 Why You Think Milan Is Larger than Modena: Neural Correlates of the Recognition Heuristic
Source:
Heuristics
Author(s):

Kirsten G. Volz

Lael J. Schooler

Ricarda I. Schubotz

Markus Raab

Gerd Gigerenzer (Contributor Webpage)

D. Yves von Cramon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744282.003.0025

When ranking two alternatives by some criteria and only one of the alternatives is recognized, participants overwhelmingly adopt the strategy, termed the recognition heuristic (RH), of choosing the recognized alternative. Understanding the neural correlates underlying decisions that follow the RH could help determine whether people make judgments about the RH's applicability or simply choose the recognized alternative. We measured brain activity by using functional magnetic resonance imaging while participants indicated which of two cities they thought was larger (Experiment 1) or which city they recognized (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, increased activation was observed within the anterior frontomedian cortex (aFMC), precuneus, and retrosplenial cortex when participants followed the RH compared to when they did not. Experiment 2 revealed that RH decisional processes cannot be reduced to recognition memory processes. As the aFMC has previously been associated with self-referential judgments, we conclude that RH decisional processes involve an assessment about the applicability of the RH.

Keywords:   heuristics, recognition, brain activity, functional magnetic resonance imaging

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