Computation & Neural Systems California Institute of Technology

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image Peter Bossaerts
William D. Hacker Professor of Economics and Management and Professor of Finance

Doctorandus, Universitaire Faculteiten Sint Ignatius (Belgium), 1982; Ph.D., University of California (Los Angeles), 1986.

phone: 626-395-4028
location: Baxter Hall
mail code: 228-77

research group |

Theoretical, Empirical, and Experimental Finance Bossaerts is interested in human decision making under uncertainty. While the ultimate goal is to understand human choice in a financial setting, the scope is broader and covers uncertainty in general. Topics that he investigates include: risk perception and risk learning, exploration, Bayesian learning vs. model-free reinforcement learning, hypothesis formation, learning in the non-gaussian world of lepto-kurtotic risks, strategic uncertainty and theory of mind. The goal is not only to model behavior, but also to understand its neurobiological foundations. This puts one in contact with a number of critical brain structures such as anterior insula, amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, parietal cortex, and lateral orbitofrontal cortex, as well as the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and acetylcholine. It is hoped that the research will not only lead to a better understanding of normal human behavior towards uncertainty, but also of anomalies, in the first place, gambling addiction.

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