Why we view the brain as computer

Computational neuroscientists employ computer models and simulations in studying brain functions. But, in addition, they view the modeled nervous system itself as computing. What does it mean to say that the brain computes? And what is the utility of the 'brain-as-computer' assumption in studying brain functions? In previous work, I argue that the algorithmic conception of computation is not adequate to address these questions. Here I introduce and explicate an alternative, "analog", conception of computation. The term 'analog' does not mean continuous, non-discrete or non-digital.

Endogenous Market Power

In this paper we develop a framework to study thin markets, in which all traders, buyers and sellers are large, in the sense that they all have market power (also known as bilateral oligopoly). Unlike the standard IO models our framework does not a priori assume that some traders do or do not have market power because they are large or small. Here, market power arises endogenously for each trader from market clearing and optimization by all agents. This framework allows for multiple goods and heterogeneous traders.

An Evolutionary Foundation of Rational Choice (JOINT WORK WITH CHRISTOPH KUZMICS)

A choice rule maps subsets of available alternatives to subsets of chosen alternatives. It is strictly rational if it is induced by a strict order on the grand set of alternatives. We compare intergenerational learning processes based on the distribution of choice rules a generation experiments with.

Cognitive Resources: How Less Can Be More

Many models of rational inference view the mind as if it were a supernatural being possessing demonic powers of reason, boundless knowledge, and all of eternity for making decisions. In reality, humans act under limited time, knowledge, and computational power.Across various cognitive research programs, the premise that human information-processing capacity is limited often goes hand in hand with the belief that these limitations are nothing but a liability.They are suspected of being the culprit behind reasoning lapses and of barring us from achieving the feats of a supercomputer.

The Strategic Value of Recall

This work studies the value of two-person zero-sum repeated games in which at least one of the players is restricted to (mixtures of) bounded recall strategies. A (pure) k-recall strategy is a strategy that relies only on the last k periods of history. This work improves previous results [Lehrer 1988, Neyman-Okada 2005] on repeated games with bounded recall. We provide an explicit formula for the asymptotic value of the repeated game as a function of the stage game, the duration of the repeated game, and the recall of the agents.

Constrained School Choice: An Experimental Study

Recently several school districts in the US have introduced school choice mechanisms to assign children to public schools. Chen and Sonmez (2006) report on an experimental study of three prominent mechanisms, complementing the theoretical results in favor of two of the three mechanisms. This paper shows that these results may change drastically when a real-life feature of school choice procedures is incorporated: students can only declare up to a fixed number of schools to be acceptable.

נוירו-כלכלה: אופנה או תקווה חדשה להבנת קבלת החלטות

הדוברים   ישראל אומן - האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים ריצ'ארד אבשטיין - האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים יצחק אהרן - אוניברסיטת בן גוריון סרג'יו הרט - האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים יקיר לוין - אוניברסיטת בן גוריון יונתן לוינשטיין - האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים איתמר פיטובסקי - האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים


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