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Neurocognitive modelling of human decision making

Nazir, Azadeh Hassannejad (2019). Neurocognitive modelling of human decision making. Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv. , Rapport (Institutionen för energi och teknik, SLU), 1654-9406
ISBN 978-91-576-9645-8
eISBN 978-91-576-9646-5
[Licentiate thesis]

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A central issue related to climate change and the path to a low carbon society is how we can change our attitudes and associated behavioral patterns. This type of decisions is concerned with how complex systems can be dealt with, conceptually, psychologically, as well as socially. In order to transform our society, we need to consider the relationship between brain, mind and behavior. One of the approaches to address this problem is to design computational models that can be used for simulations and scenario building.

This thesis concerns the development and application of a neurocomputational model of the decision making process of an individual at experiential and social levels, considering both emotional and rational aspects. It is an attempt to bridge the gaps between micro (neuronal), meso (brain areas) and macro (cognition/behavior) levels with a focus on the mesoscale neurodynamics of cortical structures. The model is intended to link neural structures, functions, and includes effects of internal and environmental factors.

The thesis is divided into two parts, corresponding to the two kinds of decision making: 1) experience-based and 2) social-based decision making. At an individual level, a final decision is the result of an integration of rational and emotional processes. The neural structures involved in cognition valuate the potential options regarding internal attitudes and rules, as well as external contexts. Decision values are based on neural properties of activity patterns associated with different actions. The option with the highest value is selected for in the decision making process. Human behavior is guided not only by subjective values and attitudes, but also by the perceived behavior of others. Learning from/about others through observation shapes our thoughts and behavioral patterns. The second part of the thesis deals with this social adaptive characteristic of an individual, where the dynamic changes of her behaviors are connected with trust. Traces of social influences on an individual’s decisions and social expectations (e.g. trust) have been observed in the rational and emotional brain structures and their functions.

While the neurocomputational model is based on anatomical and physiological data of the modeled brain structures, no real world data have been available for model validation. Yet, simulation results mimic EEG and fMRI readouts, which could be compared with experimental/clinical data, when available. Future work intends to provide such data, but currently the modeling can only provide insights in the neurodynamic interactions between brain areas involved in decision making.

Authors/Creators:Nazir, Azadeh Hassannejad
Title:Neurocognitive modelling of human decision making
Series Name/Journal:Rapport (Institutionen för energi och teknik, SLU)
Year of publishing :2019
Number of Pages:74
IAzadeh Hassannejad Nazir, Hans Liljenström (2015). A cortical network model of cognitive and emotional influences in human decision making. BioSystems 13, pp.128–141.
IIHassannejad Nazir, A. & Liljenström, H. (2016) A Neuro-Cognitive Model for Decision Making in Everyday Travelling. In: "Towards a Fossil-Free Society - In the Stockholm-Mälar Region" (H. Liljenström & U. Svedin, Eds.),COMPLEX WP4 Final Scientific Report, Human Nature Series. Sigtuna: Sigtunastiftelsen, ISBN 978-91-976048-4-0. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.36656.97284.
IIIAzadeh Hassannejad Nazir, Hans Liljenström. A Neurocognitive model of observation-based decision making with a focus on trust (manuscript)
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-9645-8
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-9646-5
Publication Type:Licentiate thesis
Article category:Other scientific
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:X Agricola extesions > X38 Human medicine, health, and safety
X Agricola extesions > X40 Physical sciences
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 501 Psychology > Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 509 Other Social Sciences > Social Sciences Interdisciplinary (Peace and Conflict Research and Studies on Sustainable Society)
Keywords:decision making, observational learning, anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, lateral prefrontal cortex, trust, climate change
Permanent URL:
ID Code:16045
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:03 Apr 2019 14:13
Metadata Last Modified:05 Apr 2019 11:59

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