Exploring How We Make Decisions

The Caltech Conte Center for Neuroscience explores how we make decisions in a social setting, an ability that is as ubiquitous in everyday life as it is devastating when dysfunctional in diseases such as autism, schizophrenia or addiction.  This center examines four main aspects of social decision making: how basic social rewards are processed in the brain, how these rewards are learned and processed through observation rather than receiving a direct reward, how people process and understand how other individuals feel about rewards, and how the brain regions involved in these experiments are connected on a network level.

How do we process rewards, and how do we learn about rewards in a social setting?  Is this done in the same way that we think about how other people think about rewards?  This Conte Center for Neuroscience at Caltech addresses these questions using innovative fMRI technology, in order to understand on a very basic level how humans think, learn, and make decisions about rewards.

This Conte Center consists of four Projects and three supporting Cores: