Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 31;106(13):5025-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0901490106. Epub 2009 Mar 23.

The medial prefrontal cortex exhibits money illusion.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epileptology and Department of NeuroCognition, Life and Brain Center, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Strasse 25, 53127 Bonn, Germany.

Abstract

Behavioral economists have proposed that money illusion, which is a deviation from rationality in which individuals engage in nominal evaluation, can explain a wide range of important economic and social phenomena. This proposition stands in sharp contrast to the standard economic assumption of rationality that requires individuals to judge the value of money only on the basis of the bundle of goods that it can buy-its real value-and not on the basis of the actual amount of currency-its nominal value. We used fMRI to investigate whether the brain's reward circuitry exhibits money illusion. Subjects received prizes in 2 different experimental conditions that were identical in real economic terms, but differed in nominal terms. Thus, in the absence of money illusion there should be no differences in activation in reward-related brain areas. In contrast, we found that areas of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), which have been previously associated with the processing of anticipatory and experienced rewards, and the valuation of goods, exhibited money illusion. We also found that the amount of money illusion exhibited by the vmPFC was correlated with the amount of money illusion exhibited in the evaluation of economic transactions.

PMID:
19307555
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2664018
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk