Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Multistage Valuation Signals and Common Neural Currencies

Access the publisher's website in Neuroeconomics: Decision-Making and the Brain, Paul Glimcher, Ernest Fehr (Eds.), Elsevier, 2nd Ed. (2014) 237-258

A major goal of research in neuroeconomics is to formulate a theory of how we make decisions, grounded in both the psychology and economics of choice behavior and a knowledge of the underlying biology. Consistent decision making requires assigning values to the available options – a process referred to as valuation. Thus, understanding how valuation emerges from the interactions of millions of neurons in different brain systems is a central question for research in neuroeconomics. This chapter reviews work applying different neuroscientific methods, such as functional brain-imaging, single neuron recording, work on lesion patients and transcranial magnetic stimulation, which sheds light on the different brain regions involved in the representation of distinct valuation signals and the contributions of these valuation signals to behavior.