Human decision making

Much of human activity involves choice between competing courses of action. Some choices are financial, e.g., Which savings account should I choose? Others do not involve money, e.g., Should I exercise for longer or give up now? Some choices involve higher cognitive systems, e.g., Should I take out contents insurance? Others rely more on perceptual and/or perceptuo-motor systems (e.g. Where should I place my foot on the next step when walking on a rocky path?  Choices of these kinds are faced by humans on a daily basis. In this research grouping we investigate how and why humans make their decisions, considering questions such as:

  • Is decision making behaviour common across different types of decision?
  • Do humans make good decisions?
  • What are the constraints on decision making?  
  • How do prospective rewards and costs interact in decision making? 
  • What neural structures and mechanisms are involved in decision making?
  • How does decision making change in ageing and clinical populations?
  • What are the brain mechanisms that underlie decision making?
  • How do different decision making systems interact?

Principal investigators

Name Job title Email address
Paul Warren Senior lecturer
Wael El-Deredy Professor of cognitive neuroscience
Deborah Talmi Lecturer