Why this programme?
Neuroeconomics is a truly interdisciplinary endeavor aiming at understanding human individual and social decision making by investigating their neuronal basis and underlying psychological processes. Neuroeconomics combines theoretical and empirical research methods and techniques from neuroscience, economics and psychology into a unified approach, aimed at an integrative understanding of human decision making.
The specialisation in neuroeconomics provides you with a holistic perspective on human decision making without sacrificing rigour and methodological depth. This programme is therefore an ideal choice for those who aspire to a career as researcher in academia (behavioural economics, decision neuroscience) or occupations where a comprehensive understanding of human behaviour is important (consulting, public policy).
The specialisation Neuroeconomics is jointly organised by the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience (FPN) and the Economics Departments of the School of Business and Economics (SBE). You will follow courses at both faculties and will receive an in-depth training in quantitative theoretical and empirical methods in economics and cognitive neuroscience as well as extensive hands-on training in all aspects of experimental and neuroscience research.
Through extensive practice in writing research proposals, you will learn to formulate testable hypotheses and translate these into research designs. Workshops will expose you to a wide variety of research methods, ranging from experimental economics to neuroimaging.
From November of the second year, you will devote your time to the preparation and execution of your research internship and master’s thesis. You will conduct your own research project (very often as part of a larger ongoing study), including the writing of a proposal, acquiring and analysing the data. The work is reported in a master’s thesis, written in the style of a scientific journal article. Given the strong multidisciplinary research infrastructure here in Maastricht as well as extensive international networks, you will have ample opportunities for internships related to any aspect of Fundamental Neuroscience, either locally or at other top universities throughout the world. We will help you find a topic and location that best fit your own interests and career goals. Curious about the kinds of projects students have conducted? You can find a list of research topics at the bottom of the page.
Neuroeconomics ensured that I was ideally positioned to take advantage of two major shifts that are occurring in the study of decision-making, and scientific research in general: interdisciplinarity and mathematisation. The programme was designed to provide me with the fundamental tools from economics, psychology, neuroscience, mathematics and statistics, and give me the opportunity to decide how these fields could be integrated; placing me at the cutting edge of the nascent field of neuroeconomics. When applying to PhD programmes, I received feedback indicating that my background was ideal for the ongoing research in the laboratories of interest to me.
Jeff Inglis (now a PhD student at the University of California at Santa Barbara)