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Decision-making and Neuroeconomics

Research team

Our research focuses on understanding the neural basis of decisionmaking. Every time we are faced with a decision – even a simple one like what to have for lunch – our brains perform a complex set of computations, gathering information from the sensorium and recalling past memories of consuming these foods. It must then integrate all this information with our current homeostatic state (‘how hungry am I?’) to quickly compute the value of each of these options. In our group, we aim to elucidate precisely how the brain constructs value and uses it to guide decisions.

Our approach is highly interdisciplinary, integrating economics and computational models with advanced neuroimaging techniques with the aim of developing a more realistic account of economic behaviour. Our aim is to dispel the myth of economic rationality by showing how the constraints and computational limitations of the human brain shape our choice behaviour. At the same time, we are using these insights to understand why decision-making abilities are impoverished in psychiatric disorders like OCD.


Principal Investigator

Benedetto de Martino
b.martino@ucl.ac.uk

Research areas