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Neuron. 2014 Jun 4;82(5):950-65. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.04.037.

Decision making: the neuroethological turn.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
2
Department of Neurobiology, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA; Departments of Evolutionary Anthropology and Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA. Electronic address: platt@neuro.duke.edu.

Abstract

Neuroeconomics applies models from economics and psychology to inform neurobiological studies of choice. This approach has revealed neural signatures of concepts like value, risk, and ambiguity, which are known to influence decision making. Such observations have led theorists to hypothesize a single, unified decision process that mediates choice behavior via a common neural currency for outcomes like food, money, or social praise. In parallel, recent neuroethological studies of decision making have focused on natural behaviors like foraging, mate choice, and social interactions. These decisions strongly impact evolutionary fitness and thus are likely to have played a key role in shaping the neural circuits that mediate decision making. This approach has revealed a suite of computational motifs that appear to be shared across a wide variety of organisms. We argue that the existence of deep homologies in the neural circuits mediating choice may have profound implications for understanding human decision making in health and disease.

PMID:
24908481
PMCID:
PMC4065420
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2014.04.037
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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