Research Topic

Decision Making Across the Life Span

About this Research Topic

Learning to choose adaptively between different behavioral options in order to reach goals is a pervasive task in life for people of all ages. People are often confronted with complex, uncertain situations that nonetheless require decisive actions that would facilitate the pursuit of short-term or long-term ...

Learning to choose adaptively between different behavioral options in order to reach goals is a pervasive task in life for people of all ages. People are often confronted with complex, uncertain situations that nonetheless require decisive actions that would facilitate the pursuit of short-term or long-term goals. Adaptive decision making as such entails interactions between processes that monitor the choice-outcome relations as well as processes that evaluate these relations with respect to goal relevance. These dynamics implicate close interplays between attention, motivation, and emotion, which are subserved by the frontal-parietal, frontal-striatal, and mesolimbic networks and are neurochemically regulated by transmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin. Across the lifespan, these functional brain circuits as well as neurotransmitter systems undergo basic biological maturation and senescence as well as plasticity due to the accumulation of experience or changes in motivational goals. Studying decision making across different life periods may shed light on how the very processes of adaptive decision making adapt to constraints on brain resources due to aging or lack of development, how these processes benefit from experience, or how decision making is influenced by shifting goals.

The aim of this Research Topic in Frontiers in Decision Neuroscience is to open a forum for the subfield of decision science that focuses on comparing and contrasting decision making in people of different ages. We hope to bring together empirical work from behavioral computational, cognitive neuroscience, genomic, as well as animal research that investigate age similarities or differences in decision making. Focused reviews that integrate existing evidence and provide new theoretical insights are also welcome.

Note: Publication fees for Research Topics are reduced from standard Frontiers rates (http://www.frontiersin.org/decision_neuroscience/fees) and this discounted rate will be further subsidized by the Scientific Research Network on Decision Neuroscience and Aging to a final fee of €700 / $1000. Publishing grants are also available for authors unable to bear publication costs.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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