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Value and confidence signals in the human brain - implications for decision making?

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Basic principles of decision theory assume that in order to make a choice, agents assign values to available options and compare them so as to select the best one. Research in neuroeconomics has identified the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) as a key node for signaling the subjective values that drive decision making. In this talk, I will describe the functional properties of the VMPFC signal, as inferred from fMRI and intracranial recordings in humans. These properties might explain some psychological phenomena manifested in seemingly irrational choice behaviors.

Mathias Pessiglione has conducted pioneering studies combining cognitive testing, functional neuroimaging and computational modeling, mostly at the Wellcome Trust Center in London and the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris. He is now head of the “Motivation, Brain & Behavior” lab at the Institut du cerveau et de la Moelle (ICM) in Paris. His research aims at understanding the determinants of behavior (why we do what we do), in both normal and pathological conditions.

This talk is part of the Zangwill Club series.

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