Re: poly: Neural basis of utility estimation

From: CurtAdams <>
Date: Thu Feb 26 1998 - 21:15:03 PST

In a message dated 2/26/98 11:21:05 AM, wrote:

>Anders writes:
(re a study on rat decision-making)
>>If one is to believe the review article, there might very well be a
>>fairly simply utility-calculation system underlying much of our
>>behavior, with a neural basis possible to explore.
>Economists did these sorts of experiments decades ago, minus the direct
>brain stimulation. I don't see how adding that commodity really tells
>us anything new. But then I haven't read the article.

I think it's pretty relevant that the kind of economic calculus that
describes what humans do also describes what rats do. Amongst other
things, it implies that rational decision-making may not need our
rational mind as much as we think it does. It also might indicate
there's more computing power available for utility calculcations than
we had thought, and that has bearing on the plausibility of utility
Received on Fri Feb 27 05:19:52 1998

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