Natural Rationality | decision-making in the economy of nature


(Another study about) the neural substrate of decision-making

In a new paper, Hampton and O'Doherty show how information about the neural activity in three regions (ACC, mPFC, and ventral striatum) contain enough information to "decode" decision making, that is, to predict the next action. Subjects were asked to guess which stimulus would be rewarding, and received monetary gain or loss after each guess. After a certain time, reward contingencies change. This sequential, probabilistic and reward-based decision making situation is analogous to numerous real-life situations (and more realistic than paper-and-pen experiments, if I may) and thus seems to confirm the importance of these three areas.