Special Reviews

Social Decision-Making: Insights from Game Theory and Neuroscience

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Science  26 Oct 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5850, pp. 598-602
DOI: 10.1126/science.1142996


By combining the models and tasks of Game Theory with modern psychological and neuroscientific methods, the neuroeconomic approach to the study of social decision-making has the potential to extend our knowledge of brain mechanisms involved in social decisions and to advance theoretical models of how we make decisions in a rich, interactive environment. Research has already begun to illustrate how social exchange can act directly on the brain's reward system, how affective factors play an important role in bargaining and competitive games, and how the ability to assess another's intentions is related to strategic play. These findings provide a fruitful starting point for improved models of social decision-making, informed by the formal mathematical approach of economics and constrained by known neural mechanisms.

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