Could fMRI data proxy subjective value because of the statistical relationship between Poisson and Conditional Logit? An Observation in Search of a Theory

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2022-01-12
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Copyright The Author 2022
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Economics
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This proposition uses the statistical relationship between the Poisson distribution and conditional logit to show that in the absence of a direct measure of signal from a neural region of interest, the conditional logit model may be useful to elicit willingness to pay (WTP) and proxy subjective value in a neuroscience experiment. If neurons fire in a Poisson manner then because the Poisson and Conditional Logit likelihood functions are nested, there would seem to be a link between neuron spikes and WTP. One might be able to use measures from fMRI to infer WTP even if one cannot directly measure the neuronal spike activity. This paper is presented as an observation in search of a theory, and there may be obvious reasons it is wrong. I place it in circulation in order to help discovery.
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conditional logit, fMRI, neuroecon, Poisson, subjective value, willingness to pay, WTP
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