The Decision Tree

Decision-making from all perspectives

Why Do Monkeys Like to Gamble?

In November 2012, I gave a talk at TEDxRochester. See it here.

You know what TED is - it's a modern day Chatauqua. It's usually a one-day meeting with lectures on a wide variety of topics. Science is represented, but so are personal stories, the humanities, and even performance. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.

It's sorta like PBS for hipsters.

You've surely seen a great Youtube video or two on Facebook or from one of your friends.

TED has franchised its brand and there are talks in various cities around the world. The big conferences get bona fide celebrities. The smaller ones like to get local people who can talk about their own experience. Like me.

Last year I was invited to give a talk to TEDxRochester. It was an amazing experience. It took place downtown at the historic Geva Theater. The place was packed. Other talks involved a road trip to Mongolia, a local dancer dancing, and a high school team who built a basketball playing robot. They brought the robots in.

My talk was kind of prosaic by comparison. But it was about something near and dear to my heart.

Why do monkeys like to gamble?

It's the scientific question I have devoted the most thought to of just about any question for the past 7 years or so. I've made some progress. I won't say any more here but, if you are interested, check it out by clicking on the link above.



Ben Hayden, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester.


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