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Regular version of the site

Introduction to Neuroeconomics: How the Brain Makes Decisions

2019/2020
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
3
ECTS credits
Delivered at:
Department of Innovation Management (Educational Departments)
Course type:
Bridging course
When:
1 year, 2 module

Course Syllabus

Abstract

Economics, psychology, and neuroscience are converging today into a unified discipline of Neuroeconomics with the ultimate aim of creating a single, general theory of human decision-making. Neuroeconomics provides biologists, economists, psychologists and social scientists with a deeper understanding of how they make their own decisions and how others decide. Neuroscience, when allied with psychology and economics, creates powerful new models to explain why we make decisions. Neurobiological mechanisms of decision-making, decisions under risk, trust and cooperation will be central issues in this course. You will be provided with the most recent evidence from brain-imaging techniques (fMRI, TMS, etc.) and introduced to the explanatory models behind them. The course does not require any prior study of economics and neuroscience; however, it might require you to study novel interdisciplinary materials. The course provides an introduction to the methodology, assumptions, and main findings of Neuroeconomics. Our students have different backgrounds; therefore, I have adapted and simplified the course to allow all students to understand the interdisciplinary content. This course will help you to start your progress in the field of Neuroeconomics and to further develop your skills during other more advanced courses and trainings in the future. For some topics, the course will also provide supplementary videos to reveal the opinions of leading experts in the field. Each module provides optional reading material. The course is linked closely to such disciplines as: microeconomics, research design
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • This course will help you to start your progress in the field of Neuroeconomics and to further develop your skills during other more advanced courses and trainings in the future. For some topics, the course will also provide supplementary videos to reveal the opinions of leading experts in the field.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Know rules of organization and basic schemes for the implementation of research with the use of neuroeconomic tools
  • Know characteristic mistakes that should be avoided when setting goals and formulating conclusions in studies using neuroeconomic tool
  • Be able to compose and describe different neuroeconomic models;
  • Be able to analyze advertising campaigns in terms of neuroeconomics;
  • Be able to prepare advertising campaign projects based on neuroeconomic knowledge
  • Have skills to use modern tools used in the field of neuroeconomics;
  • Know key concepts, goals and objectives of neuroeconomics as an interdisciplinary science
  • Have basic terminology of neuroeconomics
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • This lecture will provide an introduction to the course and a historical overview of the field and will explore major assumptions of Neuroeconomics.
    We'll discuss the need for Neuroeconomics and the limitations of the traditional fields of economics, psychology, and neuroscience. Can we predict decisions based on neural activity? Can we change human decisions using brain stimulation techniques? Does Neuroeconomics change views on free will and free decisions? This lecture will deal with these and other questions.
  • Introduction to cognitive neuroscience, brain anatomy, and brain functions and continue with a discussion of various methods of measuring brain activity, including brain imaging methods (EEG, MEG, fMRI), transcranial brain stimulation (TMS), cell recording, and data visualization, and interpretation of the results.
    The main goal of this lecture is to help you read and understand results of Neuroeconomics papers. Terminology and experimental methods that we will use throughout the whole course are introduced.
  • Topic 3 is covering the main features of the Diffusion Model, the most popular theoretical model of decision-making in Neuroeconomics.
    We will apply this model to singleneuron activity in a monkey cortex and to the human brain in order to understand how brains program decisions. For advanced students, an online guest lecture provided by Dr.Sebastian Horn (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin), who gives a more fundamental explanation of the drift diffusion model.
  • During this lecture, students will discuss how neurons assign values to different options during the decision-making process.
    We will also discuss the central role of the nucleus accumbens and orbitofrontal cortex in the valuation process. To make adaptive decisions, we must evaluate the costs and benefits of available options. Neuroeconomics has set itself the ambitious goal of understanding the brain mechanisms that are responsible for these evaluative processes. Neuroeconomics has also focused on describing the neural signals related to learning the value of stimuli and actions.
  • The influence of emotions on decision-making is largely ignored in decision theories.
    Our objective in this lecture is to explore the role of emotion in decision-making and to introduce theories and basic findings of Neuroeconomics in this context. For example, the neuroeconomic studies of decision-making in neurological patients who can no longer process emotional information normally suggest that people make judgments based not only on evaluations of the values of options and probabilities of outcomes but often primarily on emotions.
  • Studies in Neuroeconomics have found evidence suggesting that the brain may employ multiple levels of processing when making decisions, and this conclusion is consistent with dual-processing theories that have received extensive theoretical consideration in the field of cognitive psychology.
    During this lecture, we will discuss the classic and cutting-edge research studies supporting dual process theory. Additionally, recommend for students to attend the online guest lecture provided by Dr. Samuel McClure (Stanford University), who is a leading neuroeconomist investigating dual-process mechanisms.
  • Many of our decisions involve uncertainty or imperfect knowledge about how our choices lead to outcomes.
    The important aspect of uncertainty most commonly considered by economists and neuroeconomists is risk, which refers to situations in which we know the probabilities of possible outcomes. For example, if you play roulette in Monte Carlo, you are making a decision under risk since you know the probability of winning and thus how much you should expect to lose. Here I will introduce a neuroeconomic approach to studying decisions under risk and an anticipatory affect model suggesting that the balance of activity in the set brain areas (insular cortex and nucleus accumbens) promotes either approach toward or avoidance of risk. Additionally, Dr. Brian Knutson (Stanford University) provides his comments on the functional role of the nucleus accumbens in a guest lecture.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Экзамен
  • non-blocking Домашние задания
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.3 * Домашние задания + 0.7 * Экзамен
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Под ред. Родиной Г.А.-МАКРОЭКОНОМИКА 2-е изд., пер. и доп. Учебник и практикум для бакалавриата, специалитета и магистратуры-М.:Издательство Юрайт,2019-375-Бакалавр. Специалист. Магистр-978-5-534-00078-8: -Текст электронный // ЭБС Юрайт - https://biblio-online.ru/book/makroekonomika-431971

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Грязнова, А.Г. Микроэкономика. Практический подход (Managerial Economics) : учебник / Грязнова А.Г., Юданов А.Ю., ред. — Москва : КноРус, 2009. — 697 с. — ISBN 978-5-390-00402-9. — URL: https://book.ru/book/218650 (дата обращения: 10.10.2019). — Текст : электронный.
  • Поведенческая экономика, или Почему в России хотим как лучше, а получается как всегда : монография / Н.И. Захаров. — М. : ИНФРА-М, 2017. — 213 с. — (Научная мысль). — www.dx.doi.org/10.12737/23038. - Режим доступа: http://znanium.com/catalog/product/774203