University of Southern California

USC Neuroscience

Giorgio Coricelli

Associate Professor

Research Topics

  1. Neuroeconomics
  2. Emotion and decision-making
  3. Social Neuroscience

Research Overview

We study human behaviors emerging from the interplay of cognitive and emotional systems. Our objective is to apply robust methods and findings from behavioral decision theory to study the brain structures that contribute to forming judgments and decisions, both in an individual and a social context.

We study (1) the role of counterfactual emotions, such as regret and envy, in decision making (fMRI and Orbitofrontal patients studies); (2) the neural basis of bounded rational behavior: limit in depth of strategic reasoning; (3) the neural correlates of individual and social uncertainty: disposition effect, aspiration level, ambiguity, strategic uncertainty; (4) how the brain encodes learning signals: regret/fictive learning, reputation building, transfer learning; (5) impaired decision making in schizophrenia and autism.

We conduct our research using a fundamentally multidisciplinary approach (Neuroeconomics), drawing from behavioral and experimental economics, game theory, neuroimaging (fMRI), neuropsychology (patients studies), and cognitive neurosciences.

Teaching: Neuroeconomics ECON405, Advanced Neuroeconomics ECON608

Contact Information

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Selected Publications

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Camille, N., Coricelli, G., Sallet, J., Pradat, P., Duhamel, JR, and Sirigu, A. (2004). The involvement of the orbitofrontal cortex in the experience of regret. Science, 304:1167-1170 -Link

Coricelli, G. (2005). Two-levels of mental states attribution: from automaticity to voluntariness. Neuropsychologia, 43:294-300.  -Link

Coricelli, G., Critchley, H.D., Joffily, M., O’Doherty, J.D., Sirigu, A., and Dolan, R.J. (2005). Regret and its Avoidance: A Neuroimaging Study of Choice Behavior. Nature Neuroscience, 8:1255-1262. -Link

Coricelli, G., Dolan, R.J., Sirigu, A. (2007). Brain, emotion and decision making: the paradigmatic example of regret. TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences, 11:258-265. -Link

Coricelli, G., and Nagel, R. (2009). Neural correlates of depth of strategic reasoning in medial prefrontal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, PNAS, 106:9163-8. -Link

Larquet, M., Coricelli, G., Opolczynski, G., Thibaut, F. (2010). Impaired decision-making in schizophrenia and orbitofrontal cortex patients. Schizophrenia Research, 116:266-73. -Link

Bault, N., Joffily, M., Rustichini, A., and Coricelli, G. (2011). Medial prefrontal cortex and striatum mediate the influence of social comparison on the decision process. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USAPNAS, 108:16044-9. -Link

Fouragnan, E., Chierchia, G., Greiner, S., Neveu,R., Avesani, P., and Coricelli, G. (2013). Reputational priors magnify striatal responses to violations of trust. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33:3602–3611 -Link

Joffily, M. and Coricelli G. (2013). Emotional valence and the free-energy principle. PLoS Computational Biology,  9(6): e1003094. -Link

Zalla, T., Sirigu, A., Robic, S., Chaste,  P., Leboyer, M., and Coricelli G. (2014). Feelings of Regret and Disappointment in Adults with High-Functioning Autism. Cortex (in press)