Submitted by Deric Bownds on Sat, 10/04/2008 - 11:24.
It turns out that we can learn to assess risks on the basis of visual hints we are not aware of seeing. In other words, without conscious processing of contextual cues, our brains can learn their reward value and use them to provide a bias on decision making. Functional neuroimaging reveals a correlation of cue values and prediction errors with activity in ventral striatum during conditioning. From the summary in Nature: