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On An Evolutionary Foundation Of Neuroeconomics

  • Schipper, Burkhard C.

Neuroeconomics focuses on brain imaging studies mapping neural responses to choice behaviour. Economic theory is concerned with choice behaviour but it is silent on neural activities. We present a game theoretic model in which players are endowed with an additional structure – a simple “nervous system” – and interact repeatedly in changing games. The nervous system constrains information processing functions and behavioural functions. By reinterpreting results from evolutionary game theory (Germano 2007), we suggest that nervous systems can develop to “function well” in exogenously changing strategic environments. We present an example indicating that an analogous conclusion fails if players can influence endogenously their environment.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Economics and Philosophy.

Volume (Year): 24 (2008)
Issue (Month): 03 (November)
Pages: 495-513

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Handle: RePEc:cup:ecnphi:v:24:y:2008:i:03:p:495-513_00
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  1. Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine, 2005. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000876, David K. Levine.
  2. Arthur J. Robson & Hillard S. Kaplan, 2003. "The Evolution of Human Life Expectancy and Intelligence in Hunter-Gatherer Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 150-169, March.
  3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2004. "Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1558-1590, December.
  4. Antonio Cabrales & Joel Sobel, 2010. "On the Limit Points of Discrete Selection Dynamics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 432, David K. Levine.
  5. Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean, 2008. "Dopamine, Reward Prediction Error, and Economics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 663-701, 05.
  6. Fabrizio Germano, 2007. "Stochastic Evolution of Rules for Playing Finite Normal Form Games," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 62(4), pages 311-333, May.
  7. McCabe, Kevin A., 2008. "Neuroeconomics And The Economic Sciences," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(03), pages 345-368, November.
  8. Gigerenzer, Gerd & Todd, Peter M. & ABC Research Group,, 2000. "Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195143812, March.
  9. Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto, 2005. "Modeling internal commitment mechanisms and self-control: A neuroeconomics approach to consumption-saving decisions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 460-492, August.
  10. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, June.
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