Your Brain Can Work Against You – While Prop Trading

Despite yoga and meditation, your brain can work against you – naturally. But by knowing the potential dangers, you can increase your awareness and avoid the trappings, according to a study by LiveScience.

To test the effect of dopamine on decision-making, Ray Dolan, also of University College London, and colleagues carried out a test with 14 healthy volunteers under two conditions: once when given a low dose of L-dopa and once when given a placebo. Under each condition, the subjects were asked to make a number of choices consisting of either a “smaller, sooner” option, for example receiving $22 (£15) in two weeks, or a “larger, later” option, such as receiving $86 (£57) in six months.

[The “smaller, sooner” versus the “larger, later” got me thinking about the trade-offs between day trading “smaller, sooner” and long-term trend following “larger, later.”]

Every subject was more likely to behave more impulsively – choosing the “smaller, sooner” option – when levels of dopamine in the brain were boosted. On the whole, the number of sooner options chosen increased by almost a third in the dopamine scenario, although each subject varied on this measure.

“We know that sensory inputs – sights, sounds, smells and anticipation of rewards, or even of neutral cues which have been associated with rewards – momentarily boost dopamine levels in our brains, and our research shows that higher dopamine levels make us act more impulsively,” Dolan said.


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  • Zee

    An important question may be does higher dopamine levels in our brains “make us act impulsively” or does our “selective receptivity to certain sensory inputs” boost dopamine levels in the brain which in turn make us act more impulsively?

    One way to gain control over impulsiveness might be to become more aware of our responsiveness to various sensory inputs.

  • Zee

    p.s. My guess is that the body is always responding to what the mind is doing. In this case the body responds by boosting dopamine levels in the brain in response to desired reward.