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Keywords:

  • decision making;
  • risk;
  • fMRI;
  • neuroeconomics

This chapter provides an overview of studies in the field of neuroscience that investigate some of the processes and concepts of risk perception, risky choice, and decision making under risk. First, early studies in the field of neuroscience addressing the diminished decision-making abilities in lesion patients are presented. A classical task in this research field is described along with its neural implications. After this, the underlying model, its hypotheses, and neuronal implications are discussed. Different aspects within risky decision making, such as the influence of memory, inhibition, motivation, and personality, on risky choice and the respective underlying neuronal substrate are described. After this, studies of risky decision making in healthy subjects are reviewed. A selection of studies shows that theories focusing on cognitive aspects only have to be enriched in order to allow for additional aspects within risky decision making (e.g., emotion). Next, the classical economic approaches and the development of theories incorporating further aspects within economical decision making and the underlying neuronal substrate will be presented. Finally, research in the field of neuroeconomics, focusing on the role of social decision making and evaluative judgment within risky decision making, is reviewed.