The survival of an organism depends on the ability to make adaptive decisions to achieve the needs of the organism: where to get food, who to mate with, and how to evade predators. Decision-making is a term used to describe a collection of behavioral and/or computational functions that guide the selection of an option amongst a set of alternatives. Some of these functions may include calculating the costs and benefits of a particular action, evaluating differences in value of each of the alternative outcomes and the likelihood of receiving a particular outcome, using past experiences to generate predictions or expectations about action-outcome associations, and/or integration of past experiences to make novel inferences that can be used in new environments. There is considerable interest in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms that mediate these decision-making functions and recent advances in behavioral approaches, neuroscience techniques, and neuroimaging measures have begun to develop mechanistic links between biology, reward, and decision making. This multidisciplinary work holds great promise for elucidating the biological mechanisms mediating decision-making deficits in normal and abnormal states. The multidisciplinary studies included in this Collection provide new insights into the neuroscience of decision making and reward.
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