Slightly short notice, but for any of you who might be interested in learning more about how the brain makes decisions, there’s a massive online open course starting tomorrow (June 23) on the topic of neuroeconomics. I have no idea if the course is any good, but it would probably be at least a decent primer on the neuroscience and psychology of how the brain evaluates and processes evidence in order to make a decision – from the level of neurons (e.g. “Neural representation of the subjective value, basal ganglia and choice value” which would cover how information about your ongoing behaviour and its consequences feeds into the basal ganglia, which then assess whether the outcomes of your behaviour are better or worse than expected, and then provide that evaluation back to the more frontal brain regions to come up with a plan for subsequent action – like should you change your behaviour because the outcome was poorer than you expected?) to the interpersonal level and group interactions (social psychology and group dynamics/behaviour are always fascinating to study – they were certainly some of my favourite undergraduate courses when I was at university).
If you end up doing the course, let me know how it goes!