Conference Program

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Decision Making: From the Neural Basis of Our Preferences to the Neural Mechanisms of Our Errors

By Paul Glimcher, NYU

Paul Glimcher
Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision Making, NYU


There is now compelling evidence that neuroeconomists have identified the biological signature of preference. Brain activity in the ventral striatum and the medial prefrontal cortex appears to be the physical instantiation of the mental process of liking and disliking for everything from consumer goods to leisure activities. Glimcher will present evidence that activity in these brain areas can now be used econometrically to predict choice. Standard neurobiological models of network convergence can be combined with these measurements to take these insights a step further – allowing both for the accurate prediction of new classes of choice errors at a behavioral level and for the development of choice procedures to minimize those errors. These are examples of how economics and neuroscience are being drawn together so we come to understand the nature of human decision-making at the levels of economics, psychology and neuroscience.