Economics and Philosophy

Introduction

INTRODUCTION TO THE SPECIAL ISSUE OF ECONOMICS AND PHILOSOPHY ON NEUROECONOMICS

Giacomo Bonanno, Christian List, Bertil Tungodden and Peter Vallentyne

The past fifteen years or so have witnessed considerable progress in our understanding of how the human brain works. One of the objectives of the fast-growing field of neuroscience is to deepen our knowledge of how the brain perceives and interacts with the external world. Advances in this direction have been made possible by progress in brain imaging techniques and by clinical data obtained from patients with localized brain lesions. A relatively new field within neuroscience is neuroeconomics, which focuses on individual decision making and aims to systematically classify and map the brain activity that correlates with decision-making that pertains to economic choices. Neuroeconomic studies rely heavily on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which measures the haemodynamic response (that is, changes in the blood flow) related to neural activity in the brain.