Post-traumatic stress and decision-making: research prospects in the paradigm of neuroeconomics



In the modern world, humans risk exposure to traumatic events such as major stress, terrorism, diseases, catastrophes a threat to a persons’ life or health, sexual assault, military experience etc. After being exposed to those, a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop. PTSD symptoms may include re-experiencing, avoidance, withdrawal, hyperarousal, vigilance and reactivity, as well as changes in more complex cognitive and emotional behavior. Recently, PTSD research has focused on the role of early age victimization as a pathological factor. Our paper considers consequences of psychological trauma from the neurobiological point of view. To better understand PTSD, we offer to use paradigms developed by the newly established area of neuroscience called neuroeconomics. We review the neurobiological findings of PTSD with the aim to uncover neurobiological correlates of early child traumatization. We offer to use economic approach and, more specifically, economic games, to interpret PTSD findings in the light of neuroeconomics research.

General Information

Keywords: post traumatic stress disorder PTSD, childhood victimization, decision making, neuroeconomics, Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, amygdala, hippocampus, economical games

Journal rubric: Psychology of States


For citation: Bogolyubova O.N., Shestakova A.N. Post-traumatic stress and decision-making: research prospects in the paradigm of neuroeconomics. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2015. Vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 60–76. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2015080206. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Olga N. Bogolyubova, PhD in Psychology, Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Psychology and Psychophysiology, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:

Anna N. Shestakova, PhD, Director, Centre for Cognition and Decision Making, National Research University Higher School of Economics, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:



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