Train Your Brain for Trading (No, Really!)

A stock’s price is ticking up and down on a screen in front of you. Do you rationally evaluate the probabilities that the price will rise before you pull the trigger on a trade? Or do you go with your gut? You may prefer to think superior ability—that mysterious X-factor some traders appear to have—is rooted in the former scenario. But a few years ago, researchers at the California Institute of Technology went to the trouble of taking pictures of people’s brains while they were evaluating trades. Surprise: As rational as you are, you probably opt for that gut feeling a lot. Using fMRI scans, neuroscientists can identify which brain structures are associated with particular activities. To do so, they might put a subject in a machine and have him…


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