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Neuron. 2010 Aug 26;67(4):543-54. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.07.021.

Neuroeconomic approaches to mental disorders.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neuroscience and Computational Psychiatry Unit, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Abstract

The pervasiveness of decision-making in every area of human endeavor highlights the importance of understanding choice mechanisms and their detailed relationship to underlying neurobiological function. This review surveys the recent and productive application of game-theoretic probes (economic games) to mental disorders. Such games typically possess concrete concepts of optimal play, thus providing quantitative ways to track when subjects' choices match or deviate from optimal. This feature equips economic games with natural classes of control signals that should guide learning and choice in the agents that play them. These signals and their underlying physical correlates in the brain are now being used to generate objective biomarkers that may prove useful for exposing and understanding the neurogenetic basis of normal and pathological human cognition. Thus, game-theoretic probes represent some of the first steps toward producing computationally principled, objective measures of cognitive function and dysfunction useful for the diagnosis, treatment, and understanding of mental disorders.

2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20797532
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2957178
Free PMC Article

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