Talk Preuschoff - Graduate Seminar

Decision making under uncertainty: from computational models to emotions

Kerstin Preuschoff


University of Geneva


Decision making is the outcome of complex neurophysiological processes involving, among others, constant evaluation of expected rewards and risks, balancing of emotional aspects, and computation of value signals. In this seminar, we will explore the neural processes and computations that underlie decision making. We start by looking at the evaluation of expected rewards and risks in decision making such as gambling and market behavior. We will then consider computational models of how a decision maker or trader can learn about the expected rewards and risks in his environment and what the neural basis of such learning is. Finally, we will discuss different forms of uncertainty, such as ambiguity and volatility. We will explore how the brain tracks different forms of uncertainty, how they influence learning and behavior, and how emotions play a crucial supporting role in the mathematical computations needed for reasoned choice.