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Curious Kids: how does our brain know to make immediate decisions?

By Nicola Power, Lecturer in Psychology, Lancaster University
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How does your brain tell you to stop if you’re crossing the road and you have to stop quickly? – Ruby, aged nine, Rochester, UK

The human brain is really clever. It keeps our heart beating, it allows us to see and hear the world around us, and it also helps us to make hundreds of decisions every day.

Sometimes decision making is hard, like deciding what book we want to read next. At other times decisions seem to happen without us even thinking, like when we stop crossing the road suddenly if a car is coming. So, how does our brain make decisions?

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