Choice Preferences and the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex: New Insights from Neuroeconomics and Applications in Translational Research
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In the last years, the interdisciplinary approach adopted by experimental Neuroeconomics resulted in an increase of our knowledge about the computational and neurobiological foundations of valuebased decision-making. At the application level, these advances may be useful to elucidate consumers' choice behavior, opening fields such as Neuromarketing and Consumer Neuroscience. There is extensive evidence of the contribution of both cognitive and emotional processes in guiding choice preferences. The neurological underpinnings of the integration of the affective value of emotional stimuli involve the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (Vmpfc), playing a pivotal role in encoding the subjective value of choice options. In addition, the neuroeconomic approach can also be applied to the study of neural bases of impairments in choice behavior present in a wide range of pathological conditions. These new insights into physiopathology may prove useful for the development of innovative pharmacological interventions and rehabilitation strategies. The dopamine mesocorticolimbic system, i.e. the core of reward-related processes in decision-making, is generally affected in these disorders, often because of dysfunction of the Vmpfc. In the present paper we survey some of the scientific progress made in Neuroeconomics and Consumer Neuroscience, focusing on the contribution of the Vmpfc in choice preference and discussing the potential implications for translational research in pathological populations.
- Value-based Decision-making
- Consumer Neuroscience and Neuromarketing
- Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex (Vmpfc) Lesion
- Anticipated Emotions