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Annu Rev Neurosci. 2007;30:535-74.

The neural basis of decision making.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6074, USA.


The study of decision making spans such varied fields as neuroscience, psychology, economics, statistics, political science, and computer science. Despite this diversity of applications, most decisions share common elements including deliberation and commitment. Here we evaluate recent progress in understanding how these basic elements of decision formation are implemented in the brain. We focus on simple decisions that can be studied in the laboratory but emphasize general principles likely to extend to other settings.

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