For decades, economists have been interested in the conflict between smaller-sooner and larger-later rewards. Understanding how humans make inter-temporal choices, such as drinking tonight versus good health later, is crucial for designing insurance policies or anti-alcohol campaigns. This issue has recently been analyzed by brain scanners, during which volunteers were asked to make choices between monetary payoffs, for instance $10 now, versus $11 tomorrow. Using this type of paradigm, scientists found that the dorsolateral part of the prefrontal cortex, a region known to implement behavioral control, was crucial for making the choice to wait for higher but delayed payoffs.
Read more at: MedicalXpress