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Handbook of ValuePerspectives from Economics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology$
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Tobias Brosch and David Sander

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198716600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716600.001.0001

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Common value representation—a neuroeconomic perspective

Common value representation—a neuroeconomic perspective

Chapter:
(p.85) Chapter 5 Common value representation—a neuroeconomic perspective
Source:
Handbook of Value
Author(s):

Dino Levy

Paul Glimcher

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716600.003.0005

How do humans make choices between different types of rewards? Economists have long argued on theoretical grounds that humans typically make these choices “as if” the values of the options they consider have been mapped to a single common scale for comparison. Neuroimaging studies in humans have recently begun to suggest the existence of a small group of specific brain sites that appear to encode the subjective values of different types of rewards on a neural common scale, almost exactly as predicted by theory. This chapter reviews current knowledge about the neural representation of value and choice using human brain imaging studies. It shows that the principle brain area associated with this common representation is a subregion of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)/orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). The data available today suggest that this common valuation area is part of a core system that participates in day-to-day decision making suggesting both a neurobiological foundation for standard economic theory and a tool for measuring preferences neurobiologically.

Keywords:   neuroeconomics, fMRI, common currency, vmPFC, striatum, value, primary rewards, meta-analysis

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