Natural Rationality | decision-making in the economy of nature


The Top 10 Most Important Papers in Neuroeconomics

The choice wasn't easy, and I may be influenced by my research interests, but here is what I think are the most important papers in the field:

Written by famous behavioral economists, this extensive review paper suggests how economics can be theoretically and empirically informed by neuroeconomics.
An analysis of the theoretical relationship between biology, economics, neuroscience and psychology.
Famous paper showing that unfair offers elicit activity in the anterior insula, an area associated with disgust (but not when they interact with a computer).
  • Zak, P. J. (2004). Neuroeconomics. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 359(1451), 1737-1748.
A review paper that provides a complete introduction to neuroscience (methods, brain functions, etc.) and neuroeconomics.
Subjects who received oxytocin via nasal spray are more trusting.
Players who initiate and players who experiment mutual cooperation display activation in nucleus accumbens and other reward-related areas.
Punishing cheaters, in the trust game, activates the nucleus accumbens, a subcortical structure involved in pleasure.
One of the first application of utility theory to dopaminergic systems.
The first imaging study in game theory. Decision-makers are more likely to cooperate with real humans than with computers and cooperators have a significantly different brain activation in the two conditions.
The first genuine neuroeconomics paper. Lateral intraparietal area (LIP) activity predicts visual-saccadic decision-making, encode the desirabilities of making particular movements.
My critera are citations, influence, historical/theoretical importance and relevance for understanding decision-making