Neuroethology of reward and decision making.
Ethology, the evolutionary science of behaviour, assumes that natural selection shapes behaviour and its neural substrates in humans and other animals. In this view, the nervous system of any animal comprises a suite of morphological and behavioural adaptations for solving specific information processing problems posed by the physical or social environment. Since the allocation of behaviour often reflects economic optimization of evolutionary fitness subject to physical and cognitive constraints, neurobiological studies of reward, punishment, motivation and decision making will profit from an appreciation of the information processing problems confronted by animals in their natural physical and social environments.
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