About this Research Topic
This Research Topic will focus on the nature of decision-making in the context of punishments and their interactions with rewards. There are critical differences and asymmetries between the ways that appetitive and aversive outcomes are processed by the brain. For example, performing a bad action does not tell you what you should have done instead, and individuals need to learn about punishment but sample it as little as possible. The brain appears to have evolved a separate and highly sophisticated set of mechanisms for making decisions about punishments, and their command over decisions in real-world behaviour is just as salient and powerful as rewards. This Research Topic deals with aversive mechanisms and reward-punishment interactions, and covers issues in psychology (eg. fear conditioning, inhibition, escape learning, avoidance learning, pain behaviour, reward-punishment interactions, health decision-making, anxiety, pessimism), economics and social neuroscience (eg. loss aversion, loss chasing, aversive impulsivity, social exclusion, altruistic punishment and sanctioning behaviour, responses to unfairness), and neuroscience (eg. the role of the habenula, amygdala, periacqueductal grey, the roles and interactions between serotonin and dopamine in aversion). This Research Topic solicits contributions from the fields of neurobiology, behavioral and computational neuroscience and economics investigating the neural computations underlying decision making potentially leading to approach or avoidance behaviour.
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.