nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2015‒01‒14
five papers chosen by

  1. Prestimulus Alpha Oscialltions As An Index Of Increased Cognitive Control Under The Auditory Condensation Task By Ivan E. Lazarev; Darya V. Molchanova; Nikita A. Novikov; Anastasia S. Antonenko; Elena A. Arkhipova; Galiya R. Khusyainova; Boris V. Chernyshev
  2. School Inputs and Skills: Complementarity and Self-Productivity By Nicoletti, Cheti; Rabe, Birgitta
  3. Prestimulus Frontal Midline Theta Reflects Increased Cognitive Control During Spontaneous Lapses Of Attention By Nikita A. Novikov; Dmitri V. Bryzgalov; Boris V. Chernyshev
  4. Branding insights: an interdisciplinary journey from perception to action By Andrei, Andreia Gabriela; Adriana, Zait
  5. Digit ratio and risk taking: Evidence from a large, multi-ethnic sample By Pablo Brañas-Garza; Matteo M. Galizzi; Jeroen Nieboer

  1. By: Ivan E. Lazarev (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Darya V. Molchanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Nikita A. Novikov (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Anastasia S. Antonenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Elena A. Arkhipova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Galiya R. Khusyainova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Boris V. Chernyshev (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Attentional lapses are usually viewed as a result of deterioration in cognitive control. Current theories suggest that deterioration in the cognitive control may be related to an increase in alpha rhythm power, although it is not clear whether this notion can be generalized outside of the visual task modality. In the current study power of prestimulus alpha-band oscillations was analyzed during performance of the modified auditory condensation task, which creates high attentional load. Prestimulus lower alpha-band power was found to decrease before erroneous responses, which can be viewed as attentional lapses related to decreased cognitive control, compared with correct responses. Prestimulus lower alpha-band power also gradually increased within continuous sequences of distractor stimuli separating adjacent target stimuli, thus reflecting gradual increase in the level of cognitive control mirroring increasing expectancy of the target stimuli. These findings demonstrate that the relation of alpha power to cognitive control level critically depends on the experimental task modality, and under conditions of the auditory attentional task higher alpha power may be an index of increased rather than decreased level of cognitive control
    Keywords: alpha oscillations, attention, electroencephalogram, prestimulus, cognitive control.
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Nicoletti, Cheti (University of York); Rabe, Birgitta (ISER, University of Essex)
    Abstract: Using administrative data on schools in England, we estimate an education production model of cognitive skills at the end of secondary school. We provide empirical evidence of self-productivity of skills and of complementarity between secondary school inputs and skills at the end of primary school. Our inference relies on idiosyncratic variation in school expenditure and child fixed effect estimation that controls for the endogeneity of past skills. The persistence in cognitive ability is 0.221 and the return to school expenditure is three times higher for students at the top of the past attainment distribution than for those at the bottom.
    Keywords: education production function, test scores, school quality, complementarity
    JEL: I22 I24
    Date: 2014–12
  3. By: Nikita A. Novikov (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Dmitri V. Bryzgalov (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Boris V. Chernyshev (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Performance errors are well studied under conditions of increased demands for motor inhibition; within this framework, errors are considered to be manifestations of motor conflicts between mutually exclusive responses to stimuli presented. However, tasks that require prolonged exertion of sustained attention and complex stimulus-response mapping may involve somewhat different internal causes of performance errors related to fluctuation in cognitive control; this aspect has not been previously addressed in literature. Specifically, it has not been studied whether performance errors can result from conflicts with spontaneous internally generated task-unrelated processes. In the present study, modulation of prestimulus brain activity in relation to spontaneous performance errors was studied during the auditory condensation task. Frontal midline theta (FMT) power, which is an indicator of cognitive control system activation, was found to be significantly higher before incorrect responses than before correct ones. Relative increase in FMT power before incorrect responses was positively correlated with Strength of excitation (STI questionnaire) and negatively correlated with the percentage of errors and with correct-to-error response time ratio. These findings allow us to suggest that the increase in the prestimulus FMT power before incorrect responses under the condensation task was at least partly related to the adjustment of the cognitive control system and conflict regulation. We speculate that the conflict may arise from interference between task-related and task-unrelated processes such as mind wandering
    Keywords: cognitive control, attentional lapses, performance errors, EEG, frontal midline theta, condensation task, mind wandering.
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Andrei, Andreia Gabriela; Adriana, Zait
    Abstract: Our interdisciplinary study examines the brand's perceived intentions and ability, as predictors of consumer behavior. In an attempt of answering a call for research in the branding area, we found out contradictory views, both of them based on strong arguments, including empirical results. Each view has been examined by the lens of branding, social cognition and behavioral theory. We found convergent findings from cognitive psychology and behavioral theory to support one of the two views and to extract a hypothesis. Thus, we hypothesized that an effective branding process, meant to achieve both consumer trust and sales objectives, should address the brand's perceived intentions before ability. We suggest that further empirical studies are needed to test the hypothesis, although for some particular cases, tests confirmed the priority of intentions. Overall, our paper offers an integrative view of consumer underlying behaviors revealed by results of other social sciences and how should be used in brand construction process. The benefits of updating branding theories by integrating results confirmed by other social sciences are discussed.
    Keywords: brand perception; brand image; brand trust;
    JEL: M31
    Date: 2014–10–02
  5. By: Pablo Brañas-Garza (Middlesex University London, Business School); Matteo M. Galizzi (London School of Economics and Political Science, Behavioural Research Lab); Jeroen Nieboer (London School of Economics and Political Science, Behavioural Research Lab)
    Abstract: Using a large (n=543) multi-ethnic sample of laboratory subjects, we systematically investigate the link between the digit ratio (the ratio of the length of the index finger to the length of the ring finger, also called 2D:4D ratio) and two measures of individual risk taking: (i) risk preferences over lotteries with real monetary incentives and (ii) self-reported risk attitude. Previous studies have found that the digit ratio, a proxy for pre-natal testosterone exposure, correlates with risk taking in some subject samples, but not others. In our sample, we find, first, that the right-hand digit ratio is significantly associated with risk preferences: subjects with lower right-hand ratios tend to choose more risky lotteries. Second, the right-hand digit ratio is not associated with self-reported risk attitudes. Third, there is no statistically significant association between the left-hand digit ratio and either measure of individual risk taking.
    Keywords: Testosterone, 2D:4D ratio, risk preferences, risk attitudes
    JEL: C91 C92 D44 D81 D87
    Date: 2014

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