Welcome to the Economic Decision-Making Group.
What is Neuroeconomics or Decision Neuroscience?
In the nascent field of Decision Neuroscience, neuroscientists and behavioral decision scientists have recently begun to jointly study the neural correlates of different valuation signals underlying human decision-making. We believe that these joint efforts are crucial to improve our understanding of human decision-making processes because of at least two reasons: On the one hand, neuroscientific approaches (e.g. brain imaging techniques, neuropsychiatric studies, genetic studies, pharmacological studies, single cell recording) allow us to observe the information processes underlying decision making directly in the brain, and thus shed light on aspects of human decision-making processes that cannot be observed or explained by standard methodologies in psychology or economics. On the other hand, the mathematical formalism of behavioral theories such as game theory and prospect theory could bring new ways of analyzing the neural computations involved in representing decision variables. The neuroeconomics of (i) value-based decision-making, (ii) behavioral decision-making disorders such as eating disorders, (iii) emotions, (vii) strategic thinking, and (v) learning in economic environments are the main topics of our research agenda. We strongly believe that the results of this research could be used to define new theoretical approaches to the study of economic behavior. In addition, the paradigms used in our research and our findings could be useful for the study of dysfunctional behavior in psychiatric (e.g. schizophrenia patients), neurological (e.g., autism Spectrum disorder) and eating disorders (e.g. obesity, bulimia and anorexia) patients populations.
What does our group do?
In our research we adopt a model-based and interdisciplinary perspective on decision-making. The introduction of neuroscience tools (brain imaging techniques, neuropsychological studies, genetic studies, pharmacology studies, single cell recording) and increasing evidence as to the importance of emotional and social states in economic decision-making are opening new perspectives in the neuroscience of decision-making. The focus of our research is to understand the basic underlying neural mechanisms and how emotions and cognitions regulate human decision-making processes. We combine economic theory and neuroscience in order to study value-based decision making in (1) an individual and (2) social decision-making context.