Topic 2  


Decision-making can be defined as the process of choosing an option from a set of alternatives. There is a long history of decision-making research in psychology, economics, and philosophy. Over the last ten years, decision-making research in these fields has further evolved in Berlin and now covers a broad range of different aspects: from studies on mechanisms of perceptual decision-making over conflict and heuristics to motivation, volition, and moral decision-making up to philosophical aspects of freedom and responsibility.

Several groups in the Berlin metropolitan area headed by faculty of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain have a strong focus on decision-making: Felix Blankenburg’s group focuses on computational neuroimaging of perceptual decision-making, with an emphasis on somatosensory decision-making. Gabriel Curio and Klaus-Robert Müller apply new approaches developed from brain–computer interface research to decision-making research. Hauke Heekeren’s group investigates mechanisms of decision-making in the human brain, with a focus on explicitly linking brain function and behavior. In Andreas Heinz’s group, research addresses the influence of reward contingencies, emotion, and impulsivity on decision-making, with an emphasis on alterations in patients with alcohol dependence and affective disorders. Autonomy and free will are the focus of Michael Pauen’s group.

Contact details of the Mind & Brain faculty

Internal links to Faculty and Associated resarchers

Special Newsletter issue on decision-making research

View or download pdf here or see section Newsletter (internal link)



This page last updated on: 05 August 2019

Can we manage several tasks at the same time without loss?
Clearly, many things can be done at the same time: walking and talking, listening and watching the speaker’s lips move. Other things are trivially incompatible because the same effectors are involved. However, there is a class of processes that occupy the mind in such a way that only one thing can be done at a time. According to many researchers this is the case for making decisions: thus it seems impossible to decide at exactly the same time, for example, whether to turn left or right and which radio station to listen to while driving.