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Regular version of the site

Global Expert to Speak on Advances in Neuroeconomics

On March 25, Samuel McClure, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, will give a lecture called ‘Neuroeconomics: Cognitive and Neural Processes in Delay Discounting’ at HSE. Organized by the Centre for Cognition & Decision Making, the event will cover delay discounting, as well as the work that has been done to understand the cognitive and neural processes that give rise to delay discounting and hence the dimensions along which delay discount rates vary.

Samuel McClure recently agreed to speak with the HSE news service about his research and what he aims to accomplish in terms of collaboration with specialists at HSE.

— Your field of research is fascinating for those of us who are interested in modern science and economics. Can you explain what neuroeconomics is in simple terms?

— Neuroeconomics tries to understand how decisions are made in terms of how the brain functions. We know that people have tendencies and biases when evaluating the world. The main question in neuroeconomics is why these patterns of behaviour exist and how the brain gives rise to them.

— Why is it important to understand the cognitive and neural processes in delay discounting?

— Delay discounting is the fundamental process that allows us to resist temptation and distractions so as to behave in accordance with long-term goals. Differences in delay discounting have been related to academic and professional performance. Understanding how delay discounting works both behaviourally and in terms of brain function should enable better approaches for combatting self-control problems and better recommendations for how to live a happier and healthier life.

— Understanding the way the brain works is groundbreaking new science. How much can researchers in different countries help one another to make advances?

— Groundbreaking science depends on the infusion of diverse, new ideas. This always happens better when input comes from around the world.

— Your research makes me think of behavioural experiments on animals - Pavlov’s dogs for example. Is it a mistake to say that you are less interested in the human and more in the animal side of us as beings?

— Studying the uniquely human parts of cognition is very difficult! We have much more insight into those processes that are shared with other animals.

— Does your work draw on Ivan Pavlov in some ways? 

— Yes, the entire field of neuroeconomics actually draws heavily from Pavlov’s work

— How did you become interested in neuroeconomics and build a career as a scientist? Were you interested first in neuroscience and then economics or the other way around?

— I was first drawn to neuroscience, then decision-making, and then formal models of behaviour (i.e., economics) last.

— Is this your first visit to Russia?

— Yes! I can’t wait!

— Do you have plans to cooperate on research projects with HSE?

— I am a big fan of Vasily Klucharev’s work and would be thrilled to collaborate on research projects with him or others at HSE.

Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for the HSE English language news service

See also:

Discover Neuroeconomics, Key Science of the Coming Decades

On 17th October the HSE School of Psychology is holding Welcome Lab Day as a continuation of the Nauka O+ festival. Head of School Vasily Klucharev talks to us about what will be on display, which areas of psychology are most popular today and whether it is possible to use brain stimulation to make people conform.

HSE — Mapping the Brain's Potential

Can the brain be linked directly to the computer? What areas of the brain are involved in speech recognition? What impacts on decision-making and how to other people influence this process? Can you calculate people's inclination to take risks? Participants in the 'Cognitive Control, Communication and Perception: Psychological and Neurobiological Aspects' conference, which took place September 29-30, 2015 at the Center for Neuro-economics and Cognitive Research at HSE.

Vasily Klucharev: ‘Our Brain Identifies Losing Money and Standing out from the Crowd as Catastrophes’

There are numerous ways of impacting people’s decisions, you can convince, intimidate, hypnotise, or use particular tools on certain parts of the brain. Why do scientists do this and what do these experiments show? Vasily Klucharev, Head of HSE’s School of Psychology answers questions posed by Olga Orlova, who hosts the Hamburg Score programme on Russia’s Public Television Channel.

HSE Scholars Co-author International Encyclopaedia of the Brain

HSE Scholars Co-author International Encyclopaedia of the Brain Vasily Klucharev, Leading Research Fellow at the HSE Centre for Cognition & Decision Making, and Anna Shestakova, Director of the Centre, have become co-authors of a chapter in ‘Brain Mapping’, a three-volume encyclopaedic collection.

Smart Guys Turning to Online Courses

Will internet education replace traditional universities? Where are lectures harder to give – in the classroom or in front of the camera? Would George Clooney be convincing in the role of a real teacher? The Dean of the HSE’s Faculty of Psychology Vasily Klyucharev, who conducts a neuroeconomics course on Coursera, provides answers to these questions.

Our New Master’s Programme Will Help You Become a Specialist in Cognitive Psychology and Neurobiology

From June 1 to August 15 the HSE will be accepting applications from Russian citizens for the English language Master’s programme ‘Cognitive sciences: from neurons to cognition’ (international students can file applications at any time until July 15). A competition for funded places is open to students with a wide variety of specialisations and will be judged on their portfolios.

Vasily Klyucharev, Dean of the HSE Faculty of Psychology: ‘Our objective is to integrate our faculty into the European academic space’

Vasily Klyucharev is the new Dean of the HSE Faculty of Psychology. His professional interests lie in neuroeconomics - more specifically, in the study of social influence, of the ways our decisions can be manipulated, what mechanisms are at play, and which parts of our brain are involved when someone tries to manipulate us. The new Dean talked to our news service about the faculty's upcoming research projects and academic courses.