The neurobiology of decision: consensus and controversy

Neuron. 2009 Sep 24;63(6):733-45. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.09.003.


We review and synthesize recent neurophysiological studies of decision making in humans and nonhuman primates. From these studies, the basic outline of the neurobiological mechanism for primate choice is beginning to emerge. The identified mechanism is now known to include a multicomponent valuation stage, implemented in ventromedial prefrontal cortex and associated parts of striatum, and a choice stage, implemented in lateral prefrontal and parietal areas. Neurobiological studies of decision making are beginning to enhance our understanding of economic and social behavior as well as our understanding of significant health disorders where people's behavior plays a key role.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Computer Simulation
  • Consensus*
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Net
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurobiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests