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.