Making decisions with a continuous mind

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Neuroeconomics is a rapidly expanding field at the interfaces of the human sciences. The interdisciplinary nature of this field results in several challenges when attempts are made to solve puzzling questions in human decision making, such as why and how people discount future gains. We argue that an empirical approach based on dynamic systems theory (DST) could inspire and advance the neuroeconomic investigation of decisionmaking processes in three ways: by enriching the mental model, by extending the empirical tool set, and by facilitating interdisciplinary exchange. The present article addresses the challenges neuroeconomics faces by focusing on intertemporal choice. After a brief introduction of DST and related research, a DST-based conceptual model of decision making is developed and linked to underlying neural principles. On this basis, we outline the application of DST-informed empirical strategies to intertemporal choice. Finally, we discuss the general consequences of and possible objections to the proposed approach to research in intertemporal choice and the field of neuroeconomics.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454–474
Number of pages21
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008

External IDs

Scopus 60749109632
ORCID /0000-0002-4408-6016/work/142234400