Amitai Shenhav (Brown)

Flyer seminar Shenhav


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Elizabeth Bowman

  • Seminar series

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Title: Unravelling the costs and value of choice

Past research has extensively characterized the neural and computational mechanisms by which people process the relative values of their options during decision-making. I will present recent work from our lab that focuses instead on how people process the overall value of their choice set, revealing deeper complexities within and around the choice process, as well as liabilities in failing to account for those complexities. Using a combination of computational modeling and measures of behavior, affect, and neuroimaging, these studies show (a) that people encode the overall value of their options in both a goal-directed and reflexive manner; (b) that assessments of overall choice value bear on affective experiences of both the benefits and costs of engaging in a choice; and (c) that behavioral and neural signatures of these overall value assessments (which likely reflect choice-independent processes) may often get mistaken for signatures of the decision process itself. Collectively, this work underscores that research into the neural and computational mechanisms of value-based decision-making will continue to benefit from a better understanding of the multiple levels at which people evaluate their options, and how these evaluations bear on cognition, action, and emotion.