Neuroeconomics

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Neuroeconomics

I caught this neuroscience question over at a new blog I like, Think Markets. Sandy Ikeda comments on a section of Daniel Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness: I’ve been thinking about the following from Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness: Experiments have demonstrated that the moment we encounter an object, our brains instantly analyze just a…

Symbolic Manipulation in Monkeys

One of the most interesting aspects of human behavior is our nearly infinite capacity to arrange and coordinate symbols. Think of the symbols that permeate our existence. Paper money has no value in and of itself. A wedding ring is just a band of metal. The progress of the science might even be seen as…

Nature News is reporting on a paper that just came out in PNAS. The paper, Coates and Herbert, correlates the daily profits and trading volatility of traders in London. They argue that changes in these hormone may be responsible for changes in trader profits and market volatility. Let’s file this paper under “wildly over-interpreted” because…

Greg Mankiw linked to this article in the Washington Post by experimental philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah. Appiah points out that whether you think a tax system is equitable is determined partly by whether it is framed as a loss or a gain: In the 1970s, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Thomas Schelling used to put some…

A lot of people on ScienceBlogs are talking about this paper, Hockings et al., which shows that male chimps will trade food for sex. The food in this case is papayas stolen from nearby farms; foraged food is apparently not traded in particularly large amounts. The chimps will also give papayas to other males as…

Monkey Economics

The Freakonomics guys have a simply hysterical article in the New York Times magazine about monkey economics. The article discusses how monkeys possess the mental apparatus for economic valuation including the use of money. They train the monkeys to use silver tokens as currency to trade for food, and then they show that the monkeys…

Are there neurobiological correlates of economic behavior such as utility seeking? The answer is yes, as demonstrated by some very elegant work by Berns et al in Science.