Choosing the greater of two goods: neural currencies for valuation and decision making

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2005 May;6(5):363-75. doi: 10.1038/nrn1666.


To make adaptive decisions, animals must evaluate the costs and benefits of available options. The nascent field of neuroeconomics has set itself the ambitious goal of understanding the brain mechanisms that are responsible for these evaluative processes. A series of recent neurophysiological studies in monkeys has begun to address this challenge using novel methods to manipulate and measure an animal's internal valuation of competing alternatives. By emphasizing the behavioural mechanisms and neural signals that mediate decision making under conditions of uncertainty, these studies might lay the foundation for an emerging neurobiology of choice behaviour.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choice Behavior / physiology*
  • Decision Making / physiology
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Social Values*