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In this chapter we present a survey of studies employing pharmacological manipulations in humans to elucidate the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying the neuromodulation of economic and social preferences. We will review research examining the effects of changes in neurotransmitters (including serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline) and hormones (such as oxytocin and testosterone) on human decision making. Recent studies have shown these neuromodulatory systems to play a key role in shaping time, risk, and social preferences. We will consider how the involvement of these evolutionarily ancient chemical systems in basic learning and affective processes scales up to impact complex decision making in economic and social settings. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article

Publication Date



259 - 279