Neuronal reward processing, learning and neuroeconomics. Rewards produce learning, constitute goals of behaviour and are outcomes of decisions. We investigate reward issues in individuals acting on their own and in social contexts. We investigate main reward structures, including dopamine neurons, striatum, amygdala, orbitofrontal, cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. We achieve these aims with neurophysiological experiments in animals performing controlled tasks designed on the basis of psychological learning theories and economic decision theories. Closely related neuroimaging experiments extend this work to humans. This research will reveal basic reward, risk and decision signals, impact on theories of normal behaviour and provide necessary knowledge for investigating pathological reward and risk processes in addiction, gambling and mental disorders.
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- Grabenhorst F, Hernadi I, Schultz W. Prediction of economic choice by primate amygdala neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci (USA) 109: 18950-18955, 2012.
- Schultz W. Updating dopamine reward signals. Curr Op Neurobiol 23: 229-238, 2013.