Zak, Paul J. Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California.
- Utility functions
- Game theory
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Neuroeconomics is a recent consilient discipline (that is, a discipline that combines the principles of other disciplines to produce a comprehensive analysis) that measures brain activity while experimental subjects make decisions. Because the brains of all animals are “economic,” that is, they have limited resources to achieve necessary goals, neuroeconomics experiments are not limited to studies of human beings, but have also employed apes, monkeys, and rodents. Economics is the study of constrained decision making, and it uses both mathematical and statistical models of the decision goals and outcomes without considering the mechanisms leading to decisions. Neuroscience has focused primarily on cataloging mechanisms without considering the purpose of decisions. For this reason, neuroeconomics is a natural combination that draws from the best of, and extends, both fields.
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