[Seth-Trips] Neural representation of expected value, PARC, tomorrow, 4pm

Aaron Swartz me at aaronsw.com
Thu Jul 12 00:35:27 BST 2007

Neural representation of expected value
Brian Knutson, Stanford University

Psychologists and economists have argued that people must assess
expected value in order to decide on their next course of action.
Recent advances in neuroimaging make it possible to visualize
anticipatory changes in activity deep in the living human brain. I
will review original functional magnetic resonance imaging research
suggesting that a region of the subcortex (the nucleus accumbens, or
NAcc) plays an important role in anticipation of financial gains. I
will then describe additional findings related to financial decision
making, in which NAcc activation precedes risk-taking, while
activation in a distinct brain region precedes risk-avoidance. I'll
conclude by discussing implications of this research for neurally
constrained theories of decision making and the rational actor model.

PARC Forum:  July 12, 2007,  4:00 p.m.,
George E. Pake Auditorium,  Palo Alto,  CA , USA

Brian Knutson is an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience
at Stanford University. His research focuses on the neural basis of
emotional experience and expression. He investigates this topic with a
number of methods including self-report, measurement of nonverbal
behavior, comparative ethology, psychopharmacology, and functional
brain imaging.
His long-term goal is to understand the neurochemical and
neuroanatomical mechanisms responsible for emotional experience and to
explore the implications of these findings for the assessment and
treatment of clinical disorders of affect and addiction, as well as
economic behavior.

Knutson has received Young Investigator Awards from the National
Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, the Association
for Behavioral Medicine Research, the American Psychiatric
Association, and the New York Academy of Science. He received BA
degrees in experimental psychology and comparative religion from
Trinity University, a PhD in experimental psychology from Stanford,
and has conducted postdoctoral research in affective neuroscience at
UC-San Francisco and at the National Institutes of Health.

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