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Introduction to Neuroeconomics

Category 'Best Course for Broadening Horizons and Diversity of Knowledge and Skills'
Category 'Best Course for New Knowledge and Skills'
Type: Mago-Lego
Delivered by: School of Psychology
When: 3, 4 module
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus


Economics, psychology, and neuroscience are converging today into a unified discipline of Neuroeconomics with the ultimate aim of providing a single, general theory of human decision making. Neuroeconomics provides economists and social scientists with a deeper understanding of how they make their own decisions, and how others decide. Are we hard-wired to be risk-averse or risk seeking? How is a “fair decision” evaluated by the brain? Is it possible today to predict the purchasing intentions of a consumer? Can we modulate economic behaviour affecting the brain? Neuroscience allied to psychology and economics have powerful models and evidence to explain why we make a decision. Decision-making in financial markets, trust and cooperation in teams, consumer persuasion, will be central issues in this course in neuroeconomics. You will be provided with the most recent evidence from brain-imaging techniques (PET, fMRI and TMS), and you will be introduced to the explanatory models behind them.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To learn аssumptions of Neuroeconomics
  • To learn methods of Neuroeconomics
  • To learn the functional role of various brain regions in decision-making
  • To learn evolutionary approach of Neuroeconomics
  • To learn Neuroeconomics of decisions in groups
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Names terminology and experimental methods of Neuroeconomics
  • To know the main objectives of neuroscience as a dicipline
  • To know methods to measure brain activity
  • To be able to distinct different types of behaviour mechanisms involving decision making
  • Understand neural representation of the subjective value, basal ganglia and choice value.
  • To describe human behaviour using the concept of emotion
  • To use theoretical approaches of dual process theory to create research design for own study
  • Understand neural mechanisms of decision making under risk
  • To use the approaches of neuroeconomics describing and analysing social situations
  • Understand social and evolutionary perspectives in Neuroeconomics
  • To interprete the decision making process through the optics of neuroscience
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction. Introduction to the course, historical overview of the field
    Brain anatomy and functions. Introduction to neuroscience, brain anatomy and brain functions.
  • Measuring brain activity
    Brain-imaging (EEG, MEG, fMRI), brain stimulation (TMS), cell recording, data visualization, interpretation of the results.
  • Introducing brain models of decision-making and choice.
    Neurocognitive models of the choice: comparison with formal models of decisionmaking.
  • Neural representation of the subjective value, basal ganglia and choice value
  • Behavioral economics foundation of Neuroeconomics
  • Affective mechanisms of decision-making
  • Dual process theory of decision-making
  • Decision making under risk
  • The social brain: Games in the brain.
  • “Foraging theory” (economic behavior of animals)
  • Taking an evolutionary perspective: the ‘economic animal’
    Primate studies of economic behaviour. Animals’ economy - a model of human economy.
  • “Neurophilosophy”
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Group Task
    The group task consists of 15 min PowerPoint presentation followed by 15 min group discussion. The teacher can suggest additional tasks.
  • non-blocking Final exam
    For this Pencil-and-Paper Test–Closed book Exam You need: 1. Webcam 2. Mobile phone or a Photo camera to make photo of your Pencil-and-Paper answers 3. 5 papers A4 with the your name on the top-right corner Timing: 60 min Procedure: 1. You will get a link to the exam questions 2. Complete the exam on paper and then take photographs of the pages and upload them into LMS. 3. You will have an additional 10 minutes on the exam time to account for the upload process. 4. All students must have a working webcam. 5. Students can use private Zoom chat to ask questions of the instructor. Students will set up webcam so that it shows a wide view of them in their work area. The setup should: Allow the student to see the screen; B. Allow instructor to see that students are not using outside materials or communicating with others. Mobile phone should be visible. PC sound on; C. NOT allow individual test paper to be readable on the video. Once instructor have finished giving instructions, he give the access password or the LINK so students can begin the exam. If, during the exam, instructor cannot adequately see a student work area, he asks the student to reposition their camera.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.7 * Final exam + 0.3 * Group Task


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Paul W. Glimcher, & Ernst Fehr. (2014). Neuroeconomics : Decision Making and the Brain (Vol. 2nd edition). Amsterdam: Academic Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=486337

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Politser, P. E. (2008). Neuroeconomics : A Guide to the New Science of Making Choices. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=218094