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Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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April 26, 2006

Tyler Cowan on Neuroeconomics and iTunes

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Posted by Zack Lynch

206-1.gifFor those of you who missed Tyler Cowan's article in the NYTimes last week, here is a bit he shares on his group blog Marginal Revolution (visit MR to access the full article):

"Not all of neuro-economics uses brain scans. Andrew W. Lo, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, applied polygraph-like techniques to securities traders to show that anxiety and fear affect market behavior. Measuring eye movements, which is easy and cheap, helps the researcher ascertain what is on a subject's mind. Other researchers have opened up monkey skulls to measure individual neurons; monkey neurons fire in proportion to the amount and probability of rewards. But do most economists care? Are phrases like "nucleus accumbens" — referring to a subcortical nucleus of the brain associated with reward — welcome in a profession caught up in interest rates and money supply? Skeptics question whether neuro-economics explains real-world phenomena...

The next step? Perhaps neuro-economics should turn its attention to political economy. Do people use the same part of their brains to vote as to trade? Is voting governed by fear, disgust or perhaps the desire to gain something new and exciting?"

I can't wait for Tyler to get a hold of my forthcoming book, Our Emerging Neurosociety: How Brain Science Is Radically Re-Shaping Business, Politics and Culture. But in the meantime, I hope he continues to answer the really deep questions like why do all songs on iTunes cost 99 cents?

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neuroeconomics


COMMENTS

1. Kensai on May 12, 2006 8:00 AM writes...

In fact, Neuroeconomics is one of the best fields in the interface between social, economic, and natural sciences at the moment. I wish more academics recognize that and support the research to give answers to many problems, including the national one:

HOW TO PAY STATE TAXES IN LESS PAIN? :)

Constantine.

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