Economics, psychology and neuroscience, among other disciplines, all have staked their claim to the study of decision-making. New technologies to examine human and animal brains alongside behavior — and the increased spatial and temporal resolution of those technologies in recent years — have brought these fields even closer together. Combining psychological and economic models with behavioral and neural correlates, Neuroeconomics is a burgeoning area of research that has grown exponentially in the past 15 years. Experts from a variety of fields have turned to neuroimaging, electrophysiology, EEG/EMG/EKG, and other neuroscientific tools to investigate and attempt to tease apart highly complex decision-making behaviors. This has led to a number of new breakthroughs in understanding how humans and other organisms ascribe value to, and calculate risk for, social, preferential, and ambiguous stimuli in their environments. What are the best uses of neuroscience in economics research, and how can these be further refined and improved upon? Does an increased emphasis on the neural correlates of behavior expand or limit the types of questions that are now investigated? What does the future hold for our understanding of the human mind, and what are the implications for economics and the decision sciences?
Speaker: Ernst Fehr; Professor of Economics; Director of the UBS International Center of Economics in Society; University of Zurich
Respondents: Jacqueline Gottlieb, Professor of Neuroscience, Columbia University Ifat Levy, Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine and Neuroscience, Yale University
Moderator: Michael Woodford, John Bates Clark Professor of Political Economy, Columbia University