The anterior insular, found in both hemispheres, acts like a stop sign when faced with risky decisions and cautions us. It is more related to the underlying risk than the associated outcome.
Scientists at the University of Bonn developed a model by combining socioeconomic, psychological and neuro-scientific data. FMRI scans were conducted on participants, who were made to undertake a test, simulating a series of risky scenarios. The models showed that, in addition to already known economic factors such as income and education, risk optimism and risk tolerance in particular have a major influence on decisions.