Robin Clark, On the Neuroanatomy of Focal Points and Coordination
Focal points (Schelling 1960) are choices in coordination
games that permit tacit bargaining; players can coordinate their
behavior quickly and with a high degree of reliability without an
explicit prior agreement. While there has been some experimental work
in behavioral economics (see, for example, Mehta et al. 1994, Camerer
et al. 2004, Sugden and Zamarron 2006, Bardsley et al. 2010 among
others), focal points and coordination have as yet received little
attention from neuroscientists. In this talk, I will report some
experimental work and preliminary findings on patients with Behavioral
Variant Fronto-Temporal Dementia (bvFTD). These patients show gross
impairments in social cognition, including what has been termed
"theory of mind". We will show that they also show impairments in
their ability to select focal points in coordination games.
- Bardsley, Nicholas, Judith Mehta, Chris Starmer, and Robert Sugden.
2010. Explaining focal points: Cognitive hierarchy theory-versus-team
reasoning. The Economic Journal 120(543):40-79.
- Camerer, Colin F., Teck-Hua Ho, and Juin-Kuan Chong. 2004. A cognitive
hierarchy model of games. Quarterly Journal of Economics
- Mehta, Judith, Chris Starmer, and Robert Sugden. 1994. The nature of
salience: An experimental investigation of pure coordination games.
The American Economic Review 84(3):658-673.
- Schelling, Thomas C. 1960. The strategy of conflict. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press.
- Sugden, R, and IE Zamarron. 2006. Finding the key: the riddle of focal
points. Journal of Economic Psychology 27(5):609-621.