Courses Bachelor Display 2021-2022

Course Description To PDF
Course title Neuroeconomics: Decision Making and the Brain
Course code EBC2166
ECTS credits 6,5
Assessment Whole/Half Grades
Period
Period Start End Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
4 31-1-2022 25-3-2022 X X
Level Intermediate/Advanced
Coordinator Matthias Wibral
For more information: m.wibral@maastrichtuniversity.nl
Language of instruction English
Goals
Students will recognize different disciplinary approaches to understand human decision-making and compare these to the interdisciplinary approach of Neuroeconomics. They will summarize different models within the area of Neuroeconomics and apply them to various decision-making domains. Students will also learn to critically evaluate existing studies.
Description
Neuroeconomics, sometimes also known as Decision Neuroscience, is an emerging field combining insights from economics, psychology, and neuroscience to understand how (healthy) humans make decisions and how these are related to underlying cognitive and neural processes. The ultimate goal of Neuroeconomics is to integrate knowledge from the different parent disciplines to answer the fundamental question of how our brain makes us decide.

This course provides an introduction to this exciting endeavour as well as a critical discussion and reflection on some of the most important results achieved so far. The course will introduce the general idea behind Neuroeconomics by discussing examples showing the limitations of viewing decision making merely through the lens of the traditional fields of economics, psychology and neuroscience.

The course will review various methods used in Neuroeconomics research for measuring and influencing brain activity. An important part of the course will be devoted to learning about the foundations and models of Neuroeconomics such as the basics of neuroscience. Equipped with these tools and background, we will read, discuss, and critically evaluate seminal and recent studies in Neuroeconomics.
Possible topics include:
* Subjective value and decision making: how does our brain evaluate, compare and make us choose between different options?
* Decision-making under risk: what are the neural mechanisms underlying our decisions to gamble in the casino and buy insurance contracts?
* Decision-making over time: what are the brain areas that make us patient or impatient and how is their neural activity related to procrastination?
* Social decisions: what brain mechanisms make us humans be nice or nasty to other people? Are we intrinsically selfish or generous, and how can we find out about it?

This interdisciplinary and challenging course consists of lectures and group work. It will use formal concepts from economics and neuroscience. Students should therefore not be afraid of mathematics. The course is ideal for students who are open minded towards methods and models from other disciplines and have a genuine interest in interdisciplinary thinking.
Literature
Selected chapters from Glimcher, P. W. and Fehr E. (eds.) “Neuroeconomics: Decision Making and the Brain”, Academic Press, London , UK, 2nd edition, 2014.
Selected research articles.
Prerequisites
Sufficient quantitative skills and basic knowledge of microeconomics.
Keywords
Teaching methods (indicative; course manual is definitive) PBL / Lecture
Assessment methods (indicative; course manual is definitive) Participation / Presentation
Evaluation in previous academic year For the complete evaluation of this course please click "here"
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