Neuroeconomics, neurophysiology and the common currency hypothesis

Economics and Philosophy 24 (3):419-429 (2008)
We briefly describe ways in which neuroeconomics has made contributions to its contributing disciplines, especially neuroscience, and a specific way in which it could make future contributions to both. The contributions of a scientific research programme can be categorized in terms of (1) description and classification of phenomena, (2) the discovery of causal relationships among those phenomena, and (3) the development of tools to facilitate (1) and (2). We consider ways in which neuroeconomics has advanced neuroscience and economics along each line. Then, focusing on electrophysiological methods, we consider a puzzle within neuroeconomics whose solution we believe could facilitate contributions to both neuroscience and economics, in line with category (2). This puzzle concerns how the brain assigns reward values to otherwise incomparable stimuli. According to the common currency hypothesis, dopamine release is a component of a neural mechanism that solves comparability problems. We review two versions of the common currency hypothesis, one proposed by Read Montague and colleagues, the other by William Newsome and colleagues, and fit these hypotheses into considerations of rational choice.
Keywords neuroscience  economics  neuroeconomics  philosophy of psychology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0266267108002058
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,658
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Glenn W. Harrison (2008). Neuroeconomics: A Rejoinder. Economics and Philosophy 24 (3):533-544.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Roberto Fumagalli (2013). The Futile Search for True Utility. Economics and Philosophy 29 (3):325-347.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

32 ( #99,604 of 1,725,989 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,693 of 1,725,989 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.