Jon Krause

La revolución neuroeconómica

Los intentos de vincular la neurociencia con la economía son bastante recientes, de modo que la neuroeconomía se halla todavía en una etapa temprana de su desarrollo. Sin embargo, en el nacimiento de esta ciencia puede verse la reiteración de un patrón, ya que es común que las revoluciones científicas surjan de los lugares más inesperados. Cualquier campo científico puede volverse estéril cuando en su horizonte no hay a la vista ideas radicalmente nuevas que probar. Los investigadores pueden quedar de tal modo atrapados en sus métodos (es decir, en el lenguaje y los supuestos metodológicos aceptados dentro de sus disciplinas) que sus investigaciones se vuelven repetitivas o triviales.

Pero sucede entonces que alguien que nunca tuvo relación con esos métodos propone de pronto un cambio estimulante, una idea nueva que atrae a investigadores jóvenes (y a algunos pocos iconoclastas de entre los viejos) dispuestos a aprender una ciencia diferente con sus propios métodos de investigación. En cierto punto de este proceso, asistimos al nacimiento de una revolución científica.

La revolución neuroeconómica produjo en los últimos tiempos algunos acontecimientos notables; uno muy digno de destacar ocurrió el año pasado y es la publicación del libro Foundations of Neuroeconomic Analysis,del neurocientífico Paul Glimcher. Su título es una sagaz alusión al título de una obra clásica de Paul Samuelson publicada en 1947, Fundamentos del análisis económico, que contribuyó al despertar de otra revolución anterior en la teoría económica. Ahora mismo, Glimcher está designado en el departamento de economía de la Universidad de Nueva York (también trabaja en el Centro de Neurociencia de la misma universidad).

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