Ming_Hsu in outside environment

Research Expertise and Interest

decision-making, neuroeconomics, neuromarketing, consumer neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral economics

Research Description

Ming Hsu is an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He holds appointments in the Haas School of Business and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. Prof. Hsu’s research involves using neuroscientific and computational tools to understanding economic and consumer decision-making, and how brain-based methods can be used to generate and validate insights into people's thoughts, feelings, and behavior. 

In the News

Regret is a gambler’s curse, scientists say

What goes through a gambler’s mind after she’s placed her bet? It’s not just the anticipation of a big payoff, or doubts about the wisdom of her bet. It’s also regret about previous bets, both won and lost.

Stereotypes measurably influence how we treat each other

Our race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, socio-economic class and physical appearance can determine whether or not we get a break in life. But how big a role do social stereotypes really play when it comes to landing a job, loan, university spot or other opportunity?

Altering Brain Chemistry Makes Us More Sensitive to Inequality

What if there were a pill that made you more compassionate? A new study finds that giving a drug that changes the neurochemical balance in the brain causes a greater willingness to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as ensuring that resources are divided more equally.

Study links honesty to prefrontal region of the brain

Are humans programmed to tell the truth? Not when lying is advantageous, says a new study led by Assistant Professor Ming Hsu at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. The report ties honesty to a region of the brain that exerts control over automatic impulses.

Your genes affect your betting behavior

People playing betting games engage two main areas of the brain: the medial prefrontal cortex and the striatum. Ming Hsu of UC Berkeley and Eric Set of the University of Illinois scanned 12 genes involved in dopamine regulation in these areas and found that people’s genetic variants affected how they dealt with trial-and-error learning and belief learning.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
September 17, 2018
Gamblers' thoughts were the focus of a recent neuroscience experiment tackling questions about fast human brain activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, a part of the brain known to be involved in reward processing and social interactions. The study, led by associate business and neuroscience professor Ming Hsu, looked at brain activity in gamblers' minds right after they placed bets. What the researchers found is that more than anticipating winning or doubting their judgement, they're processing regrets over prior bets, whether they had been successful or not. "It turns out that the most prevalent information encoded in the orbitofrontal cortex was the regret subjects experienced from their previous decision," says first author Ignacio Saez, a former postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley, now an assistant professor at UC Davis. Another co-author, psychology professor Robert Knight, a neurologist, says: "If you don't feel any regret, you are getting close to the world of addictive or antisocial behavior." He sees value in comparing regret in normal and injured brains, since the orbitofrontal cortex is often damaged by tumors and injuries, leading to altered behavior. This story originally appeared in Berkeley News.
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