Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa


  • Steven R. Quartz (a1)

As an emerging discipline, neuroeconomics faces considerable methodological and practical challenges. In this paper, I suggest that these challenges can be understood by exploring the similarities and dissimilarities between the emergence of neuroeconomics and the emergence of cognitive and computational neuroscience two decades ago. From these parallels, I suggest the major challenge facing theory formation in the neural and behavioural sciences is that of being under-constrained by data, making a detailed understanding of physical implementation necessary for theory construction in neuroeconomics. Rather than following a top-down strategy, neuroeconomists should be pragmatic in the use of available data from animal models, information regarding neural pathways and projections, computational models of neural function, functional imaging and behavioural data. By providing convergent evidence across multiple levels of organization, neuroeconomics will have its most promising prospects of success.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

L. Baker 1989. Instrumental intentionality. Philosophy of Science 56: 303–16.

L. Bruni and R. Sugden 2007. The road not taken: how psychology was removed from economics, and how it might be brought back. The Economic Journal 117: 146–73.

N. Chomsky 1959. A review of B. F. Skinner's verbal behavior. Language 35: 2658.

P. S. Churchland and T. J. Sejnowski 1988. Perspectives on cognitive neuroscience. Science 242: 741–5.

P. Dayan and L. F. Abbott . 2001. Theoretical neuroscience: computational and mathematical modeling of neural systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

D. H. Hubel and T. N. Wiesel 1959. Receptive fields of single neurones in the cat's striate cortex. Journal of Physiology 148: 574–91.

B. King-Casas , D. Tomlin , C. Anen , C. Camerer , S. R. Quartz and P. R. Montague . 2005. Getting to know you: reputation and trust in a two-person economic exchange. Science 308: 7883.

G. F. Koob and N. R. Swerdlow 1988. The functional output of the mesolimbic dopamine system. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 537: 216–27.

M. Lagueux 1994. Friedman instrumentalism and constructive empiricism in economics. Theory and Decision 37: 147–74.

H. Markowitz 1952. Portfolio selection. Journal of Finance 7: 7791.

D. Marr 1982. Vision : a computational investigation into the human representation and processing of visual information. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.

P. R. Montague , P. Dayan , C. Person and T. J. Sejnowski . 1995. Bee foraging in uncertain environments using predictive hebbian learning. Nature 377: 725–8.

J. P. O'Doherty , T. W. Buchanan , B. Seymour and R. J. Dolan . 2006. Predictive neural coding of reward preference involves dissociable responses in human ventral midbrain and ventral striatum. Neuron 49: 157–66.

M. P. Paulus 2007. Decision-making dysfunctions in psychiatry – altered homeostatic processing? Science 318: 602–6.

L. Pessoa 2008. On the relationship between emotion and cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9: 148–58.

K. Preuschoff , P. Bossaerts and S. R. Quartz . 2006. Neural differentiation of expected reward and risk in human subcortical structures. Neuron 51: 381–90.

S. R. Quartz and T. J. Sejnowski . 1997. The neural basis of cognitive development: a constructivist manifesto. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20: 537–56; discussion 556.

F. Rosenblatt 1958. The perceptron: A probabilistic model for information storage and organization in the brain. Psychological Review 65: 386408.

D. Ross 2005. Economic theory and cognitive science: microexplanation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

A. G. Sanfey , J. K. Rilling , J. A. Aronson , L E. Nystrom and J. D. Cohen 2003. The neural basis of economic decision-making in the Ultimatum Game. Science 300: 1755–8.

O. Sporns and J. D. Zwi 2004. The small world of the cerebral cortex. Neuroinformatics 2: 145–62.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Economics & Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0266-2671
  • EISSN: 1474-0028
  • URL: /core/journals/economics-and-philosophy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 18 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 111 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.