Neuroeconomics and Innovation

web-version.jpgI’m in LA for the next few days, at the Law, Economics and Neuroscience Conference: Implications for Innovation, sponsored by The Southern California Innovation Project, Theoretical Research in Neuroeconomic Decision-making (TREND) and The Center for Communication Law & Policy. As the press-release says, the idea is to bring together neuroscience researchers, economists, and ordinary law professors and see if the whole is greater than the sum of their parts.

[Gillian] Hadfield [who is organizing the conference on the law side] hopes the symposium will lead to more collaboration among scholars who may appear to have very different goals and backgrounds.

“You don’t usually find scientists, economists and lawyers talking together about the same topic,” Hadfield said. “I think people will find that we can enrich the research agenda of all these disciplines with this kind of cross pollination.”

I hope to blog the conference, or at least my parts in in, over the next few days. I’ll be commenting on Mat McCubbins’ co-authored paper, The Effect of Institutions on Behavior and Brain Activity: Insights from EEGs and Timed-Response Experiments. In the paper, on Boudreau, Coulson, and McCubbins found that identical cooperative behavior in a trust game seems to arise from distinct neurological mechanisms, depending on whether trust in others arose from incentives or penalties. After the session tomorrow I’ll post some of my comments, which intend to connect this paper to the large law review literature on trust.

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