Scientists Discover 'New' Area of Brain
Region helps us ponder what could have been
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 29, 2014 11:19 AM CST
Updated Jan 29, 2014 11:37 AM CST
Scientists have located a "new" part of the brain.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? If you find yourself plagued by the question, thank the lateral frontal pole behind each of your eyebrows, says Oxford researcher Matthew Rushworth. The lateral frontal pole is a newly identified part of your brain which, scientists believe, helps us recognize when we've made poor decisions. "There are a few brain areas that monitor how good our choices are, and that is a very sensible thing to have. But this region monitors how good the choices are that we didn't take," notes Rushworth.

Researchers zeroed in on the lateral front pole by scanning 25 people's brains using two imaging techniques. Putting the scans together helped the scientists learn about connections between the ventrolateral frontal cortex—which deals with language and cognition—and the rest of the brain, the Guardian reports. From there, the experts divided the ventrolateral frontal cortex into 12 regions, and then scanned monkeys' brains looking for those same regions. The scans indicate that monkeys have 11 of them—but only humans have the lateral frontal pole, Science 2.0 reports. In other words, the site notes, it's part of "what makes us human." (More brain news: Older brains aren't weaker.)

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rickydarlin
Feb 3, 2014 9:43 AM CST
we have the UFO'S to thank for that
rwgunn
Jan 31, 2014 2:52 PM CST
Obviously, it is directly connected to the muscles in the forhead that cause that verticle wrinkle to appear. Everyone I know who goes around regretting what they DIDN'T do has that line there.
VooDoo
Jan 30, 2014 2:52 PM CST
New discovery?? People who realized "I could have had a V8" have been hitting their latteral frontal poles for 10 - 15 years.