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Strategising and attention in games




This seminar is part of the Department of Economics Seminar Series 2017-18. The seminars are open to all - no registration necessary. If you would like to receive email notification of the Department’s seminars, please send your request to


Speaker: Professor Giorgio Coricelli (University of Southern California)

During Giorgio Coricelli's talk, he will first present studies about the neural correlates of strategic reasoning. Neuroimaging results from the beauty contest game identify a network associated with strategic thinking, thus showing a correlation of brain activity in several portions of the prefrontal cortex with increasing levels of strategic sophistication.

Similar brain network plays a crucial role in complex strategic settings, such as games with strategic sustainability and games with asymmetric equilibria.

Additionally, he will show how the brain does not distinguish learning from reasoning, thus showing the involvement of similar neural network in learning and thinking at the same level of strategic sophistication.

He will then present the results of two related experimental studies (work in collaboration with Luca Polonio) in which we used eye-tracking to measure the dynamic patterns of visual information acquisition in games. In a first study, participants played one-shot two-player normal-form games in which either, neither, or only one of the players had a dominant strategy. #

Their method allowed us to predict whether the decision process would lead to equilibrium choices or not, and to attribute out-of-equilibrium responses to limited cognitive capacities or social motives. Their results suggest the existence of individually heterogeneous-but-stable patterns of visual information acquisition based on subjective levels of strategic sophistication and social preferences.

In a second study we used eye-tracking technique to test whether players’ actions are consistent with their expectations of their opponent’s behavior. Participants played a series of two-player 3 by 3 one shot games and stated their beliefs about which actions they expect their counterpart to play (first-order beliefs) or about which actions their counterparts expect them to play (second-order beliefs). Using eye-tracking study we could identify a larger consistency between actions and stated beliefs compared with previous studies, and we could characterize the behavioral rules associated with choice-beliefs inconsistency. Implications for the theories of bounded rationality will be discussed.

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When and where

3.00pm - 4.30pmWednesday 13th December 2017

D111 Rhind Building City, University of London St. John Street London EC1R 0JD United Kingdom