General principles of the neurobiological theory of decision making


As was shown above, the first studies of decision-making mechanisms
the simplest situations were carried out and were carried out with the participation of animals (monkeys should
were watching moving objects on the display), while in real
life a person is forced to make decisions influenced by a much larger number
factors and in a more complex context.
In order to understand how decisions are made, it is advisable to
divide this process into several stages (Rangel et al., 2008). The first stage is
formulation of the task as such, it forms an idea of ​​the purpose and context of the decision
(1). It integrates information about the internal state of the body and factors
environment, for example, hunger or threat level, in the context of future action.
At the next stage, the value (value or valuation) of the choice of one or another
Vedic alternatives (2). The third stage compares alternatives.
solutions and the selection of the best (action selection) (3). After you
Branded action is processing its results and evaluating the effectiveness (4). On
the last stage is learning, i.e., updating the information stored in the memory,
so that all subsequent actions are carried out with the greatest efficiency (5).
Neuroeconomics first of all studies the processes occurring at the stage of
division of the subjective value of alternatives (the second stage in the hierarchy described above
processes) as the most significant stage, because it is on it that the assessment takes place and
Boron action, the result of which will lead to the achievement of the greatest benefits by the individual.
Classical neuroscience has convincingly demonstrated that there are parallel
systems for evaluating the value of behavior and, moreover, that behavior itself depends on
what value assessment system is being used at the current time (here and
We also use “subjective value” and “utility” as synonyms). Despite
It is difficult to estimate the exact number of such parallel assessment systems that are useful.
This is worth highlighting and discussing the most important ones.
First of all it is necessary to mention the classic Pavlovsky conditioned reflex ,
and the concept of goal-directed behavior (goal-directed behavior). Simplifying can
say that the classical Pavlovian “stimulus – reaction” scheme (at least in the
its western interpretation, which is widely used in modern neuroeconomic
science) is more characterized by the automaticity of processes, whereas
Directed behavior is the basis of more conscious, purposeful behavior.
In the Pavlovian reflex system, the limited value has the greatest value.
the number of automatic behavioral acts formed in the process of evolution
adapted to the environment, a typical example of which is food
new behavior - salivation and secretion of gastric juice when visiting a restaurant
on. Brain areas serving the so-called Pavlovian system include min-
the dalina (amugdala) and the lower regions of the striatum (ventral striatum), i.e., those structures that
rye are responsible for the implementation of automatic behavioral reflex acts by type
“Stimulus - reaction”. In this system, the adaptive value of behavior is coded and
strengthened genetically.
Purposeful behavior, on the contrary, is characterized by greater plasticity.
By definition, this behavior is aimed at achieving a specific goal: choice,
for example, a museum to visit is an example of such purposeful behavior; and
the more often a particular action is performed , the more likely it will be
by habit, i.e. action will become independent of the value of its result. As a result, you
behavior with a special evaluation of usefulness is being worked out - automatism that does not require additional
goal mitigation. This mechanism can be considered in more detail in the following
least: for our body, such a familiar (automatic) action as drinking coffee
during a working break, has a high value regardless of whether we really want
Cheer up at the moment or not. However, when conditions change in the chain
ke “action - reward” such a system can fail, resulting in errors
ki in predicting the value of our decisions. Imagine that in a cafe where you are used to
bite, the quality of service has deteriorated dramatically. The rational part of your I will
pushing you to find a new place, but it’s likely that you’ll
continue to visit your favorite institution.
It is believed that the basis of the work of different decision-making systems is the work of non-
dependent brain networks. Behavior associated with automatism, due to a
activity in the lateral region of the striatum (dorsolateral striatum) - the region playing
key role in planning and behavior change. Purposeful behavior in
is largely controlled by the frontal areas of the cortex and the medial area of ​​the stria
atum (dorsomedial striatum).
Thus, it is possible to draw a computer analogy and figuratively say that
three “processors” act as controllers for our actions (Rangel et al.,
2008): Pavlovsky classic reflex, automatism and goal-directed behavior, which
The latter seem to almost always be operated in parallel. Often the alternate
you coming from these different value systems are the same. For example, when
Yes, a person feels hunger, then, according to the food reflex,
Kami and purposeful behavior, for it is of particular value is the process of
food swallowing. But often we face the opposite situation when there is
mismatch in the work of the above-mentioned systems. Consider the behavior of a person who
addiction to alcohol, which, despite the fact that after an hour he needs
get behind the wheel, drink a beer at the bar. On the one hand, the habit of pushing him
the use of another portion of alcohol, on the other hand, purposeful behavior
The definition determines the need to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed, since a person cannot
he does not realize the perniciousness of this habit and the danger of the consequences of intoxication. As a result
There is conflict and guilt. Therefore, to take the most optimal
the minimum solution, it is necessary that the activity of the system of purposeful behavior
was stronger than the activity of the system of habits or automatism, so that one system would
another, for example, by the diffuse decision-making mechanism described above.
Neuroeconomics, in turn, seeks to explain the irrational behavior of human beings.
ka conflict between different systems of determining subjective utility

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