Accumulators, Neurons, and Response Time.

Schall JD
Trends Neurosci. 2019 42 (12): 848-860

PMID: 31704180 · PMCID: PMC6981279 · DOI:10.1016/j.tins.2019.10.001

The marriage of cognitive neurophysiology and mathematical psychology to understand decision-making has been exceptionally productive. This interdisciplinary area is based on the proposition that particular neurons or circuits instantiate the accumulation of evidence specified by mathematical models of sequential sampling and stochastic accumulation. This linking proposition has earned widespread endorsement. Here, a brief survey of the history of the proposition precedes a review of multiple conundrums and paradoxes concerning the accuracy, precision, and transparency of that linking proposition. Correctly establishing how abstract models of decision-making are instantiated by particular neural circuits would represent a remarkable accomplishment in mapping mind to brain. Failing would reveal challenging limits for cognitive neuroscience. This is such a vigorous area of research because so much is at stake.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

MeSH Terms (10)

Animals Brain Decision Making Humans Mind-Body Relations, Metaphysical Models, Neurological Models, Psychological Neurons Psychophysiology Reaction Time

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