Neural Random Utility: Relating Cardinal Neural Observables to Stochastic Choice Behaviour'

41 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2012 Last revised: 5 Apr 2016

Ryan Webb

University of Toronto

Paul W. Glimcher

New York University (NYU) - Center for Neuroeconomics

Ifat Levy

Yale University - School of Medicine

Stephanie C. Lazzaro

University College London - Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

Robb B. Rutledge

University College London - Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging

Date Written: January 11, 2016

Abstract

We assess whether a cardinal model can be used to relate neural observables to stochastic choice behaviour. We develop a general empirical framework for relating any neural observable to choice prediction, and propose a means of bench-marking their predictive power. In a previous study, measurements of neural activity were made while subjects considered consumer goods. Here, we find that neural activity predicts choice behaviour, with the degree of stochasticity in choice related to the cardinality of the measurement. However, we also find that current methods have a significant degree of measurement error, severely limiting their inferential and predictive performance.

Keywords: Neuroeconomics, Measured Value Methods, Random Utility, fMRI, BOLD, Stochastic Choice

JEL Classification: D87

Suggested Citation

Webb, Ryan and Glimcher, Paul W. and Levy, Ifat and Lazzaro, Stephanie C. and Rutledge, Robb B., Neural Random Utility: Relating Cardinal Neural Observables to Stochastic Choice Behaviour' (January 11, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2143215 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2143215

Ryan Webb (Contact Author)

University of Toronto ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6
Canada

Paul W. Glimcher

New York University (NYU) - Center for Neuroeconomics ( email )

4 Washington Place, Room 809
New York, NY 10003
United States

Ifat Levy

Yale University - School of Medicine ( email )

Department of Psychiatry
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

Stephanie C. Lazzaro

University College London - Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience ( email )

17 Queen Square
London WC1N 3AR
United Kingdom

Robb B. Rutledge

University College London - Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging ( email )

London, WC1N3BG
United Kingdom

Paper statistics

Downloads
595
Rank
35,262
Abstract Views
2,223