Conference Program

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The Neuroeconomics of Emotion and Decisions

By Elizabeth A. Phelps, NYU

Elizabeth A. Phelps
Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision Making, NYU

One popular theory of emotion and decision-making suggests that there are competing systems of emotion and reason that may drive choices.  In contrast to this view, recent research in affective neuroscience has highlighted a modulatory role for emotion's influence on a range of cognitive functions, including perception, attention and memory.  In this talk, I will outline how emotion's influence on decision-making may also best be captured as a modulation of the value computation.  Specifically, I will present data suggesting that the emotional reaction to decision options or outcomes is linked to choice behavior, and how modifying emotional responses may change the choice.  Finally, I will discuss the overlap in the neural systems of emotion and decision-making with circuits typically implicated in affective learning and emotion regulation.