Gregory Berns, M.D., Ph.D. is the Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University, where he directs the Center for Neuropolicy. He is a Professor in the Economics Department. He is a founding member of the Society for Neuroeconomics. He is the author of Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment (Henry Holt & Co., 2005) and Iconoclast: What Neuroscience Reveals About How To Think Differently (Harvard Business School Press, 2008). He graduated cum laude in physics from Princeton University, received a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of California, Davis and an M.D. from the University of California, San Diego. He subsequently completed a psychiatry residency at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, PA.
Dr. Berns specializes in the use of brain imaging technologies to understand human motivation and decision-making. His interest is in neuroeconomics and neuropolitics. Current projects include the biology of decision making and how peer pressure affects the brain. He also uses neuroimaging to understand moral decision making. He has received numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense and has published over 40 peer-reviewed original research articles, in such journals as Science, Nature, and Neuron. Dr. Berns' research is frequently the subject of popular media coverage including articles in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Money, Oprah, Forbes, The Financial Times, The New Scientist, Wired, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, International Herald Tribune, and Los Angeles Times. He speaks frequently on CNN and NPR, and has been profiled on ABC's Primetime.
Description: Brain imaging technologies, especially functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), have resulted in new ways of looking at human decision making. Early studies of the brain focused on the reward system, which soon gave way to linking activity in the reward system to the decisions that people make. The field of neuroeconomics grew out of the observation that activity in the human reward system could be related to aspects of expected utility theory and prospect theory. Such results are now being extended beyond the study of individual decision making to the biology of how markets are an aggregation of brains and how these markets assimilate information such as stock prices and earnings announcements.