This book addresses a fundamental question about the nature of behavior: how does the brain process reward and makes decisions when facing multiple options? The book presents the most recent and compelling lesion, neuroimaging, electrophysiological and computational studies, in combination with hormonal and genetic studies, which have led to a clearer understanding of neural mechanisms behind reward and decision making. The neural bases of reward and decision making processes are of great interest to scientists because of the fundamental role of reward in a number of behavioral processes (such as motivation, learning and cognition) and because of their theoretical and clinical implications for understanding dysfunctions of the dopaminergic system in several neurological and psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, drug addiction, pathological gambling, ...).
- Comprehensive coverage of approaches to studying reward and decision making, including primate neurophysiology and brain imaging studies in healthy humans and in various disorders, genetic and hormonal influences on the reward system and computational models.
- Covers clinical implications of process dysfunction (e.g., schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, eating disorders, drug addiction, pathological gambling)
- Uses multiple levels of analysis, from molecular mechanisms to neural systems dynamics and computational models.
" This is a very interesting and authoritative handbook by some of the most outstanding investigators in the field of reward and decision making ", Professor Edmund T. Rolls, Oxford Center for Computational Neuroscience, UK
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Part II concerns brain imaging studies on reward and decision making.
Part III covers brain disorders involving dysfunctions of decision-making and of the reward system, such as addiction, psychosis, pathological gambling, Parkinson's disease and lesions of the prefrontal cortex.
Part IV analyzes the influences of hormones and of different genes involved in dopamine transmission on reward and decision making processing.
Part V presents computational approaches on decision-making and on the roles of dopamine in the brain, combining Bayesian, game theory and neuroeconomics models.
Dr Jean-Claude Dreher (research director, CNRS, http://dreherteam.cnc.isc.cnrs.fr/en/). Dr Dreher is the director of the Neuroeconomics, Reward and Decision making team at the 'Centre de Neurosciences Cognitives' (Lyon, France). He studied Mathematics, psychopathology and Cognitive Neuroscience in Paris. The general approach of his research group is to characterize the brain mechanisms underlying motivation and decision making in healthy subjects and to study neurological and psychiatric disorders in which these mechanisms are dysfunctional. He received two Fellow Awards for Research Excellence at the NIH. He is the author of around 40 research papers and the editor of the 'Handbook of Reward and Decision Making' (Academic PRess, Elsevier, 2009). His research has been highlighted in major scientific journals (Nature Reviews Neuroscience, PNAS, TiCS) and featured in a international media (newspapers, radio and TV programs).