About this Research Topic
The brain is the organ of decision making, and evolved to maximize the outcomes desirable for the survival and reproduction of the species. Compared to the sensory and motor functions of the brain, however, the process of decision making is less accessible to direct experimental manipulations and hence requires more careful theoretical analyses. Indeed, the principle of optimality and frequent departures of human behaviors from those predicted for optimal rational decision makers have long been studied experimentally as well as theoretically. However, it is only recently that neurobiological studies of decision making started exploiting the framework previously developed in economics and psychology systematically. This cross-disciplinary research program, known as neuroeconomics, has already been enormously successful. Increasingly, neuroscientists benefit from the studies of utility theory, game theory, prospect theory, and reinforcement learning theory, and contribute to the refinement of such theories by providing more relevant empirical data. This Research Topic will showcase the recent advances in neuroeconomics that combine economic and behavioral analyses in neurobiological studies of value-based decision making.
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