Neurobiology of economic choice: A good-based model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

322 Scopus citations

Abstract

Traditionally the object of economic theory and experimental psychology, economic choice recently became a lively research focus in systems neuroscience. Here I summarize the emerging results and propose a unifying model of how economic choice might function at the neural level. Economic choice entails comparing options that vary on multiple dimensions. Hence, while choosing, individuals integrate different determinants into a subjective value; decisions are then made by comparing values. According to the good-based model, the values of different goods are computed independently of one another, which implies transitivity. Values are not learned as such, but rather computed at the time of choice. Most importantly, values are compared within the space of goods, independent of the sensorimotor contingencies of choice. Evidence from neurophysiology, imaging, and lesion studies indicates that abstract representations of value exist in the orbitofrontal and ventromedial prefrontal cortices. The computation and comparison of values may thus take place within these regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-359
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual Review of Neuroscience
Volume34
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 21 2011

Keywords

  • Abstract representation
  • Action value
  • Adaptation
  • Neuroeconomics
  • Orbitofrontal cortex
  • Subjective value
  • Transitivity

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Neurobiology of economic choice: A good-based model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this