Neuroeconomics is a rapidly growing field, bringing together economics, neuroscientists and psychologists. A basic understanding of neurobiology is critical for economists to understand the research in the field and to become involved in such research. The seminar aims to provide students with basic tools for doing this by combining frontal lectures, discussions of reading material and designing research proposals.
The seminar will first provide an introduction to neuroscience and neuroscientific methods, and then will survey prominent studies in the field of neuroeconomics. Neuroscience topics will include neurons, synapses and neurotransmitters, large-scale brain anatomy and function, and cognitive neuroscience techniques, particularly functional MRI. Neuroeconomics topics will include value encoding and computation, risk and uncertainty, value learning, the choice process, social decision-making, and pharmacological and patient studies.