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Neuroeconomics: An exciting joint venture

Summer School 2010

How does the brain produce behavior? And what has economics to do with it? Why do brain scientists need economists and why do economists need brains? What are the promises and limitations of neuroeconomics? In an exciting joint venture, neuroscientists, biologists, psychologists and economists are exploring new approaches to improve our understanding of behavior.

From June 7 to 18, the Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam organises an interdisciplinary Summer School on neuroeconomics for graduate students (master and PhD). The aim of the Summer School is to introduce and discuss the methods, findings, and potential of neuroeconomics for understanding and predicting individual and social decision making. Confirmed speakers are: Giorgio Coricelli, Mauricio Delgado, Tore Ellingsen, Ernst Fehr, Scott Huettel, Alex Kacelnik, Kevin McCabe, Michael Platt, Kerstin Preuschoff, Richard Ridderinkhof, Alan Sanfey, and Philippe Tobler.

The Summer School is also a tribute to the work of Ernst Fehr of the University of Zurich who will be a visiting professor at the University of Amsterdam. Professor Fehr is one of the leading researchers in neuroeconomics. He has made many contributions to this emerging research field, most notably through his work on trust, altruistic punishment, and social preferences. He is also a co-author of the book Neuroeconomics, the first handbook in this area.

During the first eight days of the Summer School, a number of tutorials on various topics regarding individual and social decision making will be given by international experts. In addition, students will have to prepare a position paper concerning a number of controversial issues. The preparation of these papers will be carried out in small groups and will be supervised by researchers.

The second week will include a Workshop entitled "Debates on Neuroeconomics", which can be attended separately from the rest of the Summer School. The Workshop consists of several debates that reflect currently ‘hot' issues in the field - like the sense and nonsense of neuroeconomics. We have invited renowned researchers that will defend often opposing viewpoints. In addition, the students will participate in a parliamentary style debate defending their position papers. We anticipate that this will be a highly interesting and stimulating event.

On Thursday, June 17, Professor Fehr will deliver a keynote lecture for a larger audience (the honorary Frijda lecture) which will be followed on the last day of the Summer School (Friday, June 18) by a Symposium in which a number of internationally renowned researchers will present their most recent work.


  • Prof. dr. Frans van Winden (CREED, University of Amsterdam)
  • Dr. Tobias Kalenscher (SILS-CNS, University of Amsterdam)