Choices, values and neurons
12:00 - 13:30
As a mental process, economic choice entails assigning values to the available options; a decision is then made by comparing these values. Thus a central question in the emerging field of Neuroeconomics is how values are computed and compared in the brain. Clinical studies indicate that brain lesions localized in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) — a region of the frontal lobe — disrupt economic choice behavior. More specifically, recent results show that individual neurons in the OFC represent the subjective value agents assign to different goods while choosing. These data suggest that economic choices may be based on values represented in the OFC.