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Antoine Bechara

Professor of Psychology

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-1601
Office: HNB B26


Description of Research

Research Specialties

Decision Neuroscience is an emerging area of research whose goal is to integrate research in neuroscience and behavioral decision-making. Neuro-economics is a more specialized field of study that seeks to bridge neuroscience research on human choice with economic theory, whereas Neuro-marketing addresses the neuroscience behind consumers’ choices, including product branding, preference, and purchase decisions. All these areas capitalize on knowledge from the fields of neuroscience, behavioral economics, finances, and marketing to explore the neural “road map” for the physiological processes intervening between knowledge and behavior, and the potential interruptions that lead to a disconnection between what one knows and what one decides to do. Decision neuroscience can enrich our understanding of a variety of human decision-making phenomena that inform economic theories, as well as other areas of life, including, for instance, political decisions (e.g., voting), or legal decisions (e.g., being a member of the jury). Few areas of the life sciences are as exciting as this emerging field, and even fewer offer such potential for understanding human nature while also making an impact in medicine. Thus Decision Neuroscience is the domain that captures the interests of economists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and physicians who are attempting to understand the neural basis of judgment and decision-making, social behavior, and market economies. The methodology in this field includes the use of a variety of laboratory behavioral decision tasks borrowed from all the abovementioned fields, and the application of neuroscientific analyses, including the study of patients with focal brain damage, functional neuro-imaging techniques, pharmacological manipulations, and psychophysiological techniques (SCR, EMG, EKG, EEG, and eye tracking).
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