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Is there any research about what physically happens inside our brain anatomically and neurologically when we humans commit cognitive fallacies (especially those fallacies documented in the book of Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, the behavioural economics nobel prize winner)?

An example is the subjects when given two options of (a) terrorism by Muslims and (b) terrorism by all ethnics, they ended up assigning higher probability of occurence to (a) than to (b).

This is because (a) feels more sensational to us due to past events and news, but it is a complete bug of our brain because (b) as a broader case is surely more likely than (a).

I want to know at physics level and anatomical level what is actually happening with the "circuits" inside our brains (in hope that by studying the physical form of cognitive fallacies we might able to come out with biotech or neurotech that could eradicate such fallacies).

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  • $\begingroup$ This question seems too broad to me. Studying the physical or neurological level to understand fallacies is like studying molecular motion to understand how a car works. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Feb 8 at 3:36

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This schematic broadly outlines the control processes involved in decision-making, relating to structures of the prefrontal cortex (PFC).

schematic 1

The bias you're referring to is an availability bias. I'm not familiar with fMRI studies investigating the neural substrates of this bias. However, Molenberghs & Louis found the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula, medial PFC, and lateral orbitofrontal cortex play some role in ingroup bias (related to myside bias).

Many of these biases are adaptive and I doubt there is some easily identiable reductive mechanism to be altered (see the diagram below from a recent Nature Neuroscience paper for what I mean by a reductive mechanism).

schematic 2

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  • $\begingroup$ Actually the bias in question is the conjunction fallacy. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Feb 8 at 3:23
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Aaron, my mistake. Availability bias comes into play here though. $\endgroup$ Feb 9 at 1:24

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