Russian scientists have found that the multiple loss of money makes the human brain more open to change, the results published by Scientific Reports. During the experiment, the volunteers played an economic game, which consisted in the fact that the participants looked at a computer screen and pressed a button when a given geometric figure appeared on the monitor. If the participant was successful, after a while the program displayed a green number 0, if not – the amount of loss. A few seconds before the figure was displayed on the screen, one of the six sound signals was played, foreshadowing the loss of a small or large sum of money. Participants could use the cue to focus their attention and avoid losing money if the “bet” was large.
Neurophysiologists found that losing money increased brain plasticity, causing the number of new connections between neurons to increase. “This is the first experimental evidence that economic activity can actively change the brain. Signals leading to financial losses begin to be secreted by the brain automatically, in addition to our voluntary attention,” said Alexei Gorin, a graduate student at the National Research University Higher School of Economics and one of the authors of the study.