Isabelle Brocas

Department of Economics

Research Topics

  • Experimental Economics
  • Neuroeconomics
  • Behavioral Economics

Research Overview

My research philosophy relies on the combination of different types of expertise necessary to understand decision-making. I combine economic theoretical modeling (optimization based, game theoretic based), computational approaches, and a large variety of experimental methods. My research often relies also on interdisciplinary collaborations. I am currently working on three related research topics:

Brain-based theoretical modeling of decision-making (NeuroEconomic Theory): This line of research assumes that brain structures (neurons or systems) optimize their objectives under physiological constraints. In my research, I model the interplay between brain systems to provide foundations for descriptive behavioral and computational models. For more info see

Experimental methods using Non-choice data: Non-choice data refer to data that provide information about the mechanisms underlying choices in decision-making tasks. They include neuroimaging data, eye-tracking and mouse-tracking recording, skin conductance measurements or reaction times. I use a variety of non-choice data to assess the motivation and the reasoning of decision-makers at the time of choice. For more info, see

Theoretical modeling and experimental assessment of behavioral differences across populations: In my recent research, I study how behavior differ across populations and investigate the reasons for such changes. Populations of interest include children K to 12th, older adults and populations with behavioral disorders. For more info, see

Contact Information

Mailing Address Department of Economics
University of Southern California
3620 S. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0253
Office Location KAP 330C
Office Phone
Lab Location
Lab Phone
Office Location KAP 330C



  • PhD. Economics, University of Toulouse
  • MA Mathematical Economics & Econometrics, University of Toulouse
  • MA Statistics, University of Toulouse

Selected Publications

  • A Neuroeconomic Theory of Memory Retrieval, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, forthcoming (with J. Carrillo).
  • Imperfect Choice or Imperfect Attention? Understanding Strategic Thinking in Private Information Games, Review of Economic Studies, 81, 944-970, 2014 (with C. Camerer, J. Carrillo and S. Wang)
  • Resource allocation in the brain, Review of Economic Studies, 81(2), 501-534, 2014. (with R. Alonso and J. Carrillo).

  • Dual-process theories  of decision-making: a selective survey, Journal of Economic Psychology,  41, 45-54, 2014 (with J. Carrillo) .

  • Information processing and decision-making: evidence from the brain sciences and implications for Economics,  Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 83(3), 292-310, 2012.

  • From perception to action: an economic model of brain processes, Games and Economic Behavior, 75(1), 81-103, 2012 (with J. Carrillo).

  • Dynamic inconsistency and choice, Theory and Decision, 71(3), 343-364, 2011.

  • Theories of the mind, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 98(2), 175-80, 2008  (with J. Carrillo).

  • The brain as a hierarchical organization, American Economic Review, 98(4), 1312-1346, 2008 (with J. Carrillo).