Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Decision neuroscience: Emerging insights into the way we choose

By Eric van Bemmel

Decision science researcher Prof Peter Bossaerts argues that investigating brain activity as we make decisions is generating new insights into how we deal with uncertainty and risk. Once the domain of economists and psychologists, the study of human decision-making is increasingly taking a neuron-level view, with implications well beyond economics and finance.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

ERIC VAN BEMMEL

I'm Eric van Bemmel, thanks for joining us. When you make a decision about which airline to fly, who to hire for that vacant position or how to invest your savings, what’s going on between your ears? Psychologists might look at how we form opinions or select actions as driven by our biases, emotions, memories or ability to reason. Philosophers might choose to focus on the rationality of our decisions, or whether we’re acting from free will or the lack of it. Or we could ask economists, many of whom would argue it’s not what’s going on inside us that counts, so much as the outcome, the choice we finally do make that has real world significance.

But our guest on Up Close this episode, experimental finance and decision science researcher Peter Bossaerts, says there’s much to be gained by studying the underlying neural activity, in the making of choices. By examining brain function in the moment of decision, with implications not only for economics and finance, but for neuroscience and psychiatry as well. Peter Bossaerts is currently Professor of Experimental Finance and Decision Neuroscience, in the University of Melbourne’s Brain, Mind and Markets Lab. Peter welcome.

...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.