ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

›› 2010, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (01): 120-137.

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Brain Imaging Techniques and Their Applications in Decision-Making Research

Gui XUE;Chuansheng CHEN;Zhong-Lin LU;Qi DONG   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061, USA)
    (2 Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697-7085, USA)
    (3 State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
  • Received:2008-11-23 Revised:1900-01-01 Published:2010-01-30 Online:2010-01-30
  • Contact: Gui XUE

Abstract: Advanced noninvasive neuroimaging techniques such as EEG and fMRI allow researchers to directly observe brain activities while subjects perform various perceptual, motor, and/or cognitive tasks. By combining functional brain imaging with sophisticated experimental designs and data analysis methods, functions of brain regions and their interactions can be examined. A nascent field called neuroeconomics has recently emerged as a result of the enormous success of applications of functional brain imaging techniques in the study of human decision-making. In this article, we first provide an overview of brain imaging techniques, focusing on the recent developments in multivariate analysis and multi-modal data integration. We then present several studies on risky decision making, intertemporal choice, and social decision making, to illustrate how neuroimaging techniques can be used to advance our knowledge on decision making. Finally, we discuss challenges and future directions in neuroeconomics.

Key words: cognitive neuroscience, decision making, EEG, fMRI, functional imaging, neuroeconomics