Palma (Mallorca) from 12 to 13 July 2016
First meeting of the SEJyD
(Society for the Advancement of Judgment
and Decision Making Studies)


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General programme, activity sheet

Wednesday 13 July, 2016 18:45 to 19:45 Closing Plenary Lecture
NEW FINDINGS ON THE NEURAL BASIS OF DECISION MAKING
Speaker: Dr. Todd Anthony Hare, University of Zurich, Assistant Professor of Neuroeconomics


The past decade has produced hundreds of neuroimaging studies examining the neural basis of decision making. I will briefly review the general findings of these studies in order to set the stage for discussing recent experiments that demonstrate the importance of attention and context on the neural substrates of decision making. The first experiment shows that, while brain structures such as the posterior cingulate and ventromedial prefrontal cortex often appear to represent the same information during economic, value-based choices, examination of these brain regions during carefully matched economic versus perceptual choices reveals key distinctions in function. We show that the representation of value in ventromedial prefrontal cortex becomes more precise during economic compared to perceptual choices, but that activity in the posterior cingulate cortex has a consistent and automatic relationship with an object’s economic value even when that value is irrelevant for the current choice. Furthermore, this automatic representation of economic value in the posterior cingulate cortex is associated with indices of an individual’s propensity for value-based attentional capture. The second set of experiments seeks to understand how the brain modifies its valuation processes in response to changes in internal states or environmental conditions. Here, we demonstrate that interactions between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and ventromedial prefrontal cortex play a critical role in modulating the weight given to each stimulus attribute when computing an overall value for the stimulus. Moreover, similar interregional interactions support both choices in which an individual’s current goal (i.e. internal state) prompts her to shift her preferences from immediate to delayed gratification and the adaptation of decisions to fit changing environmental circumstances. Together, these results indicate that neural mechanisms promoting flexibility in valuation and choice may play a key role in optimizing decision making in multiple domains.
CLOSING PLENARY LECTURE
Place: Gran Hotel Assembly Hall