Neural basis of quasi-rational decision making

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Standard economic theories conceive homo economicus as a rational decision maker capable of maximizing utility. In reality, however, people tend to approximate optimal decision-making strategies through a collection of heuristic routines. Some of these routines are driven by emotional processes, and others are adjusted iteratively through experience. In addition, routines specialized for social decision making, such as inference about the mental states of other decision makers, might share their origins and neural mechanisms with the ability to simulate or imagine outcomes expected from alternative actions that an individual can take. A recent surge of collaborations across economics, psychology and neuroscience has provided new insights into how such multiple elements of decision making interact in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-198
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience

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