Neuroeconomics: Decision Making and the Brain

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In the years since it first published, Neuroeconomics: Decision Making and the Brain has become the standard reference and textbook in the burgeoning field of neuroeconomics. The second edition, a nearly complete revision of this landmark book, will set a new standard. This new edition features five sections designed to serve as both classroom-friendly introductions to each of the major subareas in neuroeconomics, and as advanced synopses of all that has been accomplished in the last two decades in this rapidly expanding academic discipline. The first of these sections provides useful introductions to the disciplines of microeconomics, the psychology of judgment and decision, computational neuroscience, and anthropology for scholars and students seeking interdisciplinary breadth. The second section provides an overview of how human and animal preferences are represented in the mammalian nervous systems. Chapters on risk, time preferences, social preferences, emotion, pharmacology, and common neural currencies—each written by leading experts—lay out the foundations of neuroeconomic thought. The third section contains both overview and in-depth chapters on the fundamentals of reinforcement learning, value learning, and value representation. The fourth section, “The Neural Mechanisms for Choice,” integrates what is known about the decision-making architecture into state-of-the-art models of how we make choices. The final section embeds these mechanisms in a larger social context, showing how these mechanisms function during social decision-making in both humans and animals. The book provides a historically rich exposition in each of its chapters and emphasizes both the accomplishments and the controversies in the field. A clear explanatory style and a single expository voice characterize all chapters, making core issues in economics, psychology, and neuroscience accessible to scholars from all disciplines. The volume is essential reading for anyone interested in neuroeconomics in particular or decision making in general.

  • Editors and contributing authors are among the acknowledged experts and founders in the field, making this the authoritative reference for neuroeconomics
  • Suitable as an advanced undergraduate or graduate textbook as well as a thorough reference for active researchers
  • Introductory chapters on economics, psychology, neuroscience, and anthropology provide students and scholars from any discipline with the keys to understanding this interdisciplinary field
  • Detailed chapters on subjects that include reinforcement learning, risk, inter-temporal choice, drift-diffusion models, game theory, and prospect theory make this an invaluable reference
  • Published in association with the Society for Neuroeconomics—
  • Full-color presentation throughout with numerous carefully selected illustrations to highlight key concepts
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes neuroeconomics, a combination of neuroscience and behavioral economics, with the goal of understanding how economic policies influence motivation on a neuropsychological level and, ultimately, behavior. It explores the neural structure of preferences, values, and choices. This is an update of a 2008 edition.
Purpose: The purpose is to reflect the advances in the field, which "has matured at an astonishing rate over the past 5 years." The editors note: "Thanks to the work of hundreds of cutting-edge scholars, we now know quite a lot about how and where decisions are made in the brain, and that is reflected in the structure of this second edition."
Audience: Neuroscientists, economists, public policy makers, and undergraduate/graduate students will benefit greatly from this book. The editors are from New York University and University of Zurich, while the contributors represent an international authorship from Germany, the U.S., France, the U. K., China, and Switzerland.
Features: The book begins with an overview of the history of neuroeconomics, from the 1930s to the present and it considers judgment and decision making through process and psychological models. It also provides an introduction to neuroscientific research, along with an exploration of the behavioral biases of capuchin monkeys. Section 2 describes preferences from both a neuroscientific and behavioral level, which discusses social preferences and how emotion influences preferences. Reinforcement learning is important to the organism, especially in regard to the impact of neurotransmitters such as dopamine. The book also investigates the neural mechanisms underlying choices, in terms of perceptual decision making and value-based decision making. The authors discuss multiple brain systems for learning and controlling behavior including Pavlovian learning and instrumental conditioning. The book ends by discussing strategic choices (behavioral game theory) in humans and social decision making in primates. There are numerous colorful instructional boxes and figures, and an appendix, "Prospect Theory and the Brain," which is an explanation of behavioral and neuroeconomic perspectives on decisions and risk.
Assessment: This is an excellent book, but a fairly technical one, which requires readers to have a solid introduction to the topic. It should be in the libraries of students and professionals interested in neuroeconomics.
From the Publisher
"Neuroeconomics is a large, beautifully produced and ambitious book that aims to be to for this emerging field what Gazzaniga’s The Cognitive Neurosciences is for the emerged one. It offers essays on the history of the discipline; reflections on whether (and what, and why) it offers anything of unique value to science; and reports of cutting-edge research in a number of areas including: the neural mechanisms of choice, valuation and social decision-making; the evolutionary origins of economic behavior; and the various ways of using neuroscience data to adjudicate between competing theories in behavioral economics."-Journal of Economic Psychology (Feb 2010)

'Neuroeconomics is a timely collection of papers by leading researchers from both sides of the border between economics and neuroscience. The papers reflect a high level of focused communication between scholars in fields that until recently studied decision-making at different levels using different methods, with little fruitful interaction. The book should be of interest to anyone who would like to know how a deeper understanding of process can enrich and refine economic theories of decision-making; to anyone who would like to know how economic theory can inform research in neuroscience; or simply to anyone who has ever wondered about themechanics of how decisions are made in the brain, and what it means about human nature.' - Vince Crawford, Distinguished Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego, USA

'Neuroeconomics: Decision Making and the Brain is a landmark publication in the rapidly expanding field of neuroeconomics. The list of contributors is exceptional. The content is completely up to date and forward looking. For the foreseeable future, this will be the standard reference for newcomers and experienced researchers alike.' - David Laibson, Professor of Economics, Harvard University, USA

'Economists pride themselves of rigorous parsimony. By taking the neural correlates of behavior into account, potentially explanatory variables explode. This book shows when digging deeper nonetheless pays for economics, and how to do it well.' - Christoph Engel, Director, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn, Germany

'This collection of chapters on neuroeconomics provides an integrated introduction to how brains compute value, make choices, interact socially and collectively create economics. Neuroeconomics is also a fascinating story of how a new paradigm emerged from the collision of two parent disciplines and is continuing to evolve in often surprising directions.' - Terrence Sejnowski, Professor and Director, Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, University of California, San Diego, USA

'For those onlookers who can't quite accept that neuroscience may provide insight into how we decide what course of action to follow, the contributors to this comprehensive volume offer some very compelling, and very serious experimental and theoretical insights. Highly recommended, and enormously provocative.' - Floyd Bloom, Professor Emeritus, Molecular and Integrative Neuroscience Department, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA

'Paul Glimcher is one of the founders of and most distinguished contributors to the emerging science of neuroeconomics. He has edited a volume that offers a clear view into the brains of some of the field's most active investigators.' - Alvin E. Roth, George Gund Professor of Economics and Business Administration, Harvard University, USA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780123741769
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science
  • Publication date: 10/17/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 556
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul W. Glimcher, Julius Silver Professor of Neural Science, Economics and Psychology at New York University. Director, Center for Neuroeconomics, NYU. A.B. - Princeton University, Magna cum Laude. Ph.D. -University of Pennsylvania, Neuroscience. Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Association for Psychological Science and the McKnight, Whitehall, Klingenstein and McDonnell Foundations. Investigator of the National Eye Institute, The National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute on Aging. Founding President of the Society for Neuroeconomics. Winner of the Margaret and Herman Sokol Faculty Award in the Sciences, 2003. Winner of NYU’s Distinguished (Lifetime Accomplishment) Teaching Award, 2006. Member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. Publications in Nature, Science, Neuron, Journal of Neurophysiology, American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Games and Economic Behavior, Vision Research, Experimental Brain Research, MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science, International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Science and numerous edited volumes. He is the author of: Decisions, Uncertainty and, the Brain: The Science of Neuroeconomics, 2003 from MIT Press. Winner of the American Association of Publishers Medical Sciences Book of the Year, 2003. Neuroeconomics. Decision Making and the Brain, 2009 from Academic Press. Winner of the American Association of Publishers Economics and Social Sciences Book of the Year Awards, 2009. Foundations of Neuroeconomic Analysis, 2011 from Oxford University Press. Neuroeconomics. Decision Making and the Brain 2nd ed. 2013. Professor Glimcher’s work has been covered by the popular press in the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, Money Magazine, New Scientist, and on National Public Radio, The BBC, Le Monde, Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine, La Vanguardia, Fox News, and NOVA amongst others.γlimcher

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Table of Contents

Section 1: The Fundamental Tools of Neuroeconomics
1. Basic Methods from Neoclassical Economics
2. Experimental Economics and Experimental Game Theory
3. Computational Models of Decision-Making from Psychology and Behavioral Economics
4. Estimation and Testing of Computational Models
5. Computational Neuroscience
6. Experimental Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience
7. The Economics of Non-Human Primates
Section 2: Risk, Time, Social and Emotional Preferences
8. Computation of value in simple choices
9. Valuation for Risky and Uncertain Choices
10. Valuation, Intertemporal Choice and Self Control
11. Neuroeconomics of Social Preferences
12. The Study of Emotion in Decision Making
13. Valuation and Common Neural Currencies
14. The pharmacology of economic and social decision-making
Section 3: Learning and Valuation
15. Value Learning through Reinforcement: The Basics of Dopamine and RL
16. Advanced Issues in Reinforcement Learning
17. The Basal Ganglia, Reinforcement Learning and The Encoding of Value
18. From Experienced Utility to Decision Utility
Section 4: The Neural Mechanisms for Choice
19. Neural Mechanisms for Perceptual Decision-Making
20. Value-based Decision-Making
21. Multiple Systems for Valuation and Choice
22. Integrating Benefits and Costs in Decision-Making
23. Dynamic Neuronal Models of Choice
24. Reference Dependent Values and Normalization
Section 5: Brain Circuitry of Social Valuation and Social Choice
25. The Brain Circuity for Strategic Interactions
26. The Brain Circuity for social decision-making in non-human primates
27. Understanding Others: Brain Mechanisms of Theory of Mind and Empathy
Epilogue: Summary, Conclusions, and Prognostications
Appendix: Using Prospect Theory

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