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Department of Economics

5th Annual Marlene Porsche Graduate School of Neuroeconomics Symposium

Paul Glimcher


The 5th Annual Marlene Porsche Graduate School of Neuroeconomics Symposium takes place on 9 December 2022 at the University of Zurich.

We are delighted to announce that Prof. Paul Glimcher (NYU) will be holding the Marlene Porsche Memorial Lecture, entitled Efficiently Irrational. In his lecture, Prof. Glimcher will address a central question for decision-making scholars: Why are humans and animals so predictably inconsistent in their choices? In the language of economics, why are they irrational? Glimcher's data and the data of other groups now suggest that this reflects an optimal trade-off between the precision with which the brain represents the values of choices and the biological costs of that precision. Increasing representational precision may improve choice consistency, but the metabolic cost of increased precision may be too high for it to be economical to implement significantly higher levels of precision. Given the cost of precision, a number of groups have suggested over the last decade that the brain might use efficient value-encoding mechanisms that maximize informational content. Mathematical analyses suggest that a mechanism called divisive normalization approximates maximal efficiency per action potential in decision systems. These behavioral data support the conclusion that inconsistencies produced by decision-makers can be well modeled as the byproduct of efficient divisive normalization-like mechanisms that maximize information while minimizing metabolic costs.

The Annual Symposium takes place at the Aula RAA-G-01, Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zurich, and is open to all.

For those who cannot attend the event on site, the Symposium and the Marlene Porsche Memorial Lecture can also be joined online via Zoom. Please contact to register for online participation and receive the login details.


Marlene Porsche Memorial Keynote Lecture


Efficiently Irrational

Paul Glimcher (NYU)

PhD Student presentations

14:40 Neurocomputational mechanisms of dynamic strategic behavior Niklas Bürgi
15:00 Disentangling the latent motives that guide normative behavior Claire Lugrin
15:20 Coffee Break  
15:50 Reexamining the influence of response mode and information presentation on value-based decision making Maike Brandt
16:10 Neuro-computational mechanisms of multisensory learning in the healthy and the disordered brain  Saurabh Bedi
16:30 Cost or confidence: Why do we avoid making decisions for others?

Sherry Bao 

16:50 Upregulating acetylcholine enhances foraging optimality Nikita Sidorenko
17:15 Closing apéro