Neural Encoding of Wtp Computation During Simple Purchasing Decisions

Hilke Plassmann, California Institute of Technology
John O'Doherty, California Institute of Technology
Antonio Rangel, California Institute of Technology
An essential component of purchasing decisions is the consumer’s computation of how many financial resources they are willing to give up in exchange for a consumption object (willingness to pay). Despite its importance, little is known about how the brain makes this computation. We investigated the neural basis of WTP computations by scanning hungry subjects’ brains using fMRI while they placed real bids for the right to eat different junk food products in a commonly used auction. We found that activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex encodes subject’s WTP for the products.
[ to cite ]:
Hilke Plassmann, John O'Doherty, and Antonio Rangel (2008) ,"Neural Encoding of Wtp Computation During Simple Purchasing Decisions", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 129-132.