Decision Making and the Brain

2nd Edition - August 13, 2013

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  • Editors: Paul W. Glimcher, Ernst Fehr
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123914699
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124160088

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In the years since it first published, Neuroeconomics: Decision Making and the Brain has become the standard reference and textbook in the burgeoning field of neuroeconomics. The second edition, a nearly complete revision of this landmark book, will set a new standard. This new edition features five sections designed to serve as both classroom-friendly introductions to each of the major subareas in neuroeconomics, and as advanced synopses of all that has been accomplished in the last two decades in this rapidly expanding academic discipline. The first of these sections provides useful introductions to the disciplines of microeconomics, the psychology of judgment and decision, computational neuroscience, and anthropology for scholars and students seeking interdisciplinary breadth. The second section provides an overview of how human and animal preferences are represented in the mammalian nervous systems. Chapters on risk, time preferences, social preferences, emotion, pharmacology, and common neural currencies—each written by leading experts—lay out the foundations of neuroeconomic thought. The third section contains both overview and in-depth chapters on the fundamentals of reinforcement learning, value learning, and value representation. The fourth section, “The Neural Mechanisms for Choice,” integrates what is known about the decision-making architecture into state-of-the-art models of how we make choices. The final section embeds these mechanisms in a larger social context, showing how these mechanisms function during social decision-making in both humans and animals. The book provides a historically rich exposition in each of its chapters and emphasizes both the accomplishments and the controversies in the field. A clear explanatory style and a single expository voice characterize all chapters, making core issues in economics, psychology, and neuroscience accessible to scholars from all disciplines. The volume is essential reading for anyone interested in neuroeconomics in particular or decision making in general.

Key Features

  • Editors and contributing authors are among the acknowledged experts and founders in the field, making this the authoritative reference for neuroeconomics
  • Suitable as an advanced undergraduate or graduate textbook as well as a thorough reference for active researchers
  • Introductory chapters on economics, psychology, neuroscience, and anthropology provide students and scholars from any discipline with the keys to understanding this interdisciplinary field
  • Detailed chapters on subjects that include reinforcement learning, risk, inter-temporal choice, drift-diffusion models, game theory, and prospect theory make this an invaluable reference
  • Published in association with the Society for Neuroeconomics—
  • Full-color presentation throughout with numerous carefully selected illustrations to highlight key concepts


Researchers and graduate students in neuroeconomics, behavioral / cognitive neuroscience, behavioral economics, and cognitive psychology

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    Using the Book


    List of Contributors

    Introduction: A Brief History of Neuroeconomics

    Neoclassical Economics

    Cognitive Neuroscience

    Setting the Stage for Neuroeconomics

    Two Trends, One Goal




    Part I: The Fundamental Tools of Neuroeconomics

    Chapter 1. Basic Methods from Neoclassical Economics


    Rational Choice and Utility Theory: Some Beginnings

    The ordinal revolution and the Logic of Choice

    Quantitative Tests of Qualitative Theories: Revealed Preference

    Expected Utility Theory

    Using Axioms: The Neoclassical Approach in Neuroeconomics


    Chapter 2. Experimental Economics and Experimental Game Theory


    Game Theory Described

    Game Theory Experiments

    Neuroeconomics experiments

    Towards a Neuroeconomic Theory of Game Playing


    Chapter 3. Computational and Process Models of Decision Making in Psychology and Behavioral Economics


    Models of Risky Choice

    Models of Riskless Choice

    Models of Choice Over Time

    Computational Process Models

    Diffusion Models of Rapid Decisions




    Chapter 4. Estimation and Testing of Computational Psychological Models


    Behavioral Data to be Modeled

    Methods for Estimating Parameters

    Model Comparisons




    Chapter 5. Introduction to Neuroscience


    The Cellular Structure of Information Encoding in the Brain

    The Large-Scale Anatomical Structure of the Brain

    Organizing Principles of Representation in the Brain

    Plasticity and Memory

    Summary and Conclusions


    Chapter 6. Experimental Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience


    Measurement Techniques

    Manipulation Techniques

    Conclusion: Convergence Across Methods


    Chapter 7. Evolutionary Anthropological Insights into Neuroeconomics: What Non-Human Primates can Tell us About Human Decision-Making Strategies

    Introduction: How an Evolutionary Perspective is Important for Neuroeconomics

    Understanding Evolutionary Homologies Across Primates

    Prospect Theory and Framing Effects in Non-Human Primates

    Ambiguity Aversion and the Ellsberg Paradox in Non-Human Primates

    What Comparative Work Means for Traditional Economics and Neuroeconomics



    Part II: Neural and Psychological Foundations of Economic Preferences

    Chapter 8. The Computation of Stimulus Values in Simple Choice


    Theory: A Computational Model of Simple Choice

    Methodology: How to Identify Stimulus Value Signals?

    Evidence: Stimulus Value Signals in Basic Valuation Tasks

    Complication: Attention Modulates the Computation and Comparison of Stimulus Values

    Theory: How are Stimulus Values Computed?

    Evidence for a Causal Role of the Stimulus Value Signals in VMPFC




    Chapter 9. Valuation for Risky and Uncertain Choices


    Decisions Under Uncertainty and Risk

    Models of Risky Choice

    Neural Representation of Uncertainty and Risk




    Chapter 10. Valuation, Intertemporal Choice, and Self-Control


    Valuation in Intertemporal Choice




    Chapter 11. Social Preferences and the Brain

    Behaviors and Motives

    Exploring the Neural Circuitry of Social Preferences: Methodological Concerns

    The Neurobiology of Simple Choice

    Evidence for the Similarity Between Social Preference Decisions and Simple Reward-Based Decisions

    Components of the Social Preferences Network



    Chapter 12. Neuroeconomics of Emotion and Decision Making

    Introduction: Heart or Head?

    Studying Emotion

    Incidental Affect: Carry-Over Effects on Decision Making

    Emotion’s Impact on Valuation During Choice

    Changing Emotions, Changing Choices

    General Conclusion: Beyond Two Systems


    Chapter 13. Multistage Valuation Signals and Common Neural Currencies

    Introduction to Value-Based Decision Making

    Stage 1: Valuation of Options – Predicted Valuation Signals

    Stage 2: Choice–Action Valuation Signals

    Stage 3: Outcome – Experienced Valuation Signals

    Conclusion: Multistage Neuro-Cognitive Models of Choice


    Chapter 14. Pharmacology of Economic and Social Decision Making

    Introduction to Psychopharmacology

    Pharmacology of Time Preferences

    Pharmacology of Risk Preferences

    Pharmacology of Social Preferences



    Part III: Learning and Valuation

    Chapter 15. Value Learning through Reinforcement: The Basics of Dopamine and Reinforcement Learning


    Learning: Prediction and Prediction Errors

    Functional Anatomy of Dopamine and Striatum

    Responses of Dopamine Neurons to Outcomes

    Sequential Predictions: From Rescorla–Wagner to Temporal Difference Learning

    Temporal Difference Learning and the Dopamine Response

    From Error-Driven Learning to Choice



    Chapter 16. Advanced Reinforcement Learning


    The RL Formalism


    Rewards and Punishments

    States, Stimuli, and Perceptual Uncertainty




    Chapter 17. The Basal Ganglia, Reinforcement Learning, and the Encoding of Value


    Value-Based and Procedure-Based Strategies

    Encoding of Values and Strategies by Striatal Neurons

    The Role of the Putamen in History-Based Action Selection

    Encoding of Long-Term Values and Multistep Reward Prediction Errors by Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    Decision to Wait and the Activity of Dorsal Raphe Serotonin Neurons



    Chapter 18. From Experienced Utility to Decision Utility


    Experienced Utility

    Experienced Utility: Neuroimaging Brain Activations in Humans

    Beyond Experienced Utility

    Identifying What Does What for Brain Mechanisms of Outcome Utilities

    Berridge’s Critique of the Dopamine Reward-Learning Hypothesis

    O’Doherty’s Response to the Critique of the Reward-Learning Hypothesis

    Integration Between the Two Viewpoints?




    Part IV: The Neural Mechanisms for Choice

    Chapter 19. Neural Mechanisms for Perceptual Decision Making


    Signal Detection Theory and Sensory Representation

    Sequential Sampling Models and the Decision Process

    Perceptual Decision Making in Humans

    Summary and Conclusions


    Chapter 20. Value-Based Decision Making


    The Twin Threads of Decision Neuroscience

    An Overview of the Standard Model for Value-Based Decision Making

    Understanding the Choice Circuit

    Understanding the Valuation Circuit

    Relating the Standard Model To Economic Theory: Rums

    Putting it All Together: Relating the Standard Model to Perceptual Decision


    Chapter 21. Multiple Systems for Value Learning


    Multiple Systems for Learning and Controlling Behavior

    Computational Foundations of Multiple Learning Systems

    Multiple Neural Systems for Value Learning

    What is the Nature of the Interactions Between the Different Systems?

    Conclusions: Alternative Systems, More Systems


    Chapter 22. Integrating Benefits and Costs in Decision Making

    Introduction to Behavioral Ecological Approaches to Decision Making

    Anatomy of Cost-Based Decision Making

    Linking Stimuli and Actions to Rewards and Making Decisions

    Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Effort-Based Decision Making

    Contrasting Roles of Different Frontal Cortex Areas in Different Types of Cost-Based Decision Making

    A Distributed Network for Making Cost–Benefit Decisions

    Choice Representations in Anterior Cingulate Cortex are Invariantly Tied to a Reference Frame Suitable for Foraging

    Neuropharmacology of Cost-Based Choice



    Chapter 23. Neuronal Circuit Computation of Choice


    Models of Decision Making

    Adaptive Value-Based Choice




    Chapter 24. The Neurobiology of Context-Dependent Valuation and Choice


    Behavioral Context Effects in Choice

    The Neurobiology of Context-Dependence in Decision-Related Systems

    Electrophysiological Studies Of Context-Dependence

    Neuroimaging Studies of Context-Dependence in Decision Making

    Bridging Context-Dependent Coding and Decision-Making Behavior



    Part V: Brain Circuitry of Social Valuation and Social Choice

    Chapter 25. The Neural Basis of Strategic Choice

    Components of Behavioral Game Theory

    Neural Evidence

    Conclusions and Future Research


    Chapter 26. Brain Circuitry for Social Decision Making in Non-Human Primates


    Game Theory

    Primate Visuo-Saccadic Circuitry as a Model System for Studying the Neural Basis of Social Decision Making

    Reinforcement Learning

    Cortical Mechanisms of Reinforcement Learning During Iterative Games

    Response Selection by the Frontal Eye Fields and Superior Colliculus




    Chapter 27. Understanding Others: Brain Mechanisms of Theory of Mind and Empathy


    Defining Concepts

    The Study of Theory of Mind

    The Study of Empathy and Feelings

    Social Emotions: Emotional Contagion, Compassion, Envy, and Schadenfreude

    Future Research Directions


    Appendix. Prospect Theory and the Brain

    Introduction to Prospect Theory

    Prospect Theory Measurement

    Neuroscientific Data

    Conclusions and Future Directions



Product details

  • No. of pages: 560
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2013
  • Published: August 13, 2013
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123914699
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124160088

About the Editors

Paul W. Glimcher

Paul W. Glimcher

Paul W. Glimcher, Julius Silver Professor of Neural Science, Economics and Psychology at New York University. Director, Center for Neuroeconomics, NYU. A.B. - Princeton University, Magna cum Laude. Ph.D. -University of Pennsylvania, Neuroscience. Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Association for Psychological Science and the McKnight, Whitehall, Klingenstein and McDonnell Foundations. Investigator of the National Eye Institute, The National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute on Aging. Founding President of the Society for Neuroeconomics. Winner of the Margaret and Herman Sokol Faculty Award in the Sciences, 2003. Winner of NYU’s Distinguished (Lifetime Accomplishment) Teaching Award, 2006. Member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. Publications in Nature, Science, Neuron, Journal of Neurophysiology, American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Games and Economic Behavior, Vision Research, Experimental Brain Research, MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science, International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Science and numerous edited volumes. He is the author of: Decisions, Uncertainty and, the Brain: The Science of Neuroeconomics, 2003 from MIT Press. Winner of the American Association of Publishers Medical Sciences Book of the Year, 2003. Neuroeconomics. Decision Making and the Brain, 2009 from Academic Press. Winner of the American Association of Publishers Economics and Social Sciences Book of the Year Awards, 2009. Foundations of Neuroeconomic Analysis, 2011 from Oxford University Press. Neuroeconomics. Decision Making and the Brain 2nd ed. 2013. Professor Glimcher’s work has been covered by the popular press in the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, Money Magazine, New Scientist, and on National Public Radio, The BBC, Le Monde, Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine, La Vanguardia, Fox News, and NOVA amongst others.

Affiliations and Expertise

New York University, Center for Neural Sciences, NY, USA

Ernst Fehr

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Laboratory for the Study of Social and Neural Systems

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  • gabriel b. Fri Oct 29 2021

    One of the only book

    One of the only book summaries out there on neuroeconomics. Pretty well explained concerning the scope