Every day we are confronted with decisions, from the minute (What shall I have for breakfast?) to the grand (Shall I pursue a career in decision neuroscience?). Common theoretical accounts posit that the human brain accomplishes decision making through a series of neural computations, in which the expected future reward of different decision options are compared with one another and then the option with the highest expected value is usually selected. Thus, valuation lies at the heart of the puzzle of human decision making.
Our group is interested in tracking down these values in the brain and the representations of choice options using computational modeling of choice behavior in combination with fMRI and more recently with EEG. This approach allows us to identify neural structures that participate in the computation of expected values and their updating through learning. More recently, we have been focussing decision making in real-time social interactions and seek to understand how social reasoning about others affects our own choices. To this end, we are developing computational models that combine and integrate social information from others with one's own valuation process Moreover, we also investigate how stimulus properties, pharmacological manipulations, behavioral genetics are biasing human decision-making.