The Neural Basis of Decision Making

Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6074, USA.
Annual Review of Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 19.32). 02/2007; 30(1):535-74. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.neuro.29.051605.113038
Source: PubMed


The study of decision making spans such varied fields as neuroscience, psychology, economics, statistics, political science, and computer science. Despite this diversity of applications, most decisions share common elements including deliberation and commitment. Here we evaluate recent progress in understanding how these basic elements of decision formation are implemented in the brain. We focus on simple decisions that can be studied in the laboratory but emphasize general principles likely to extend to other settings.

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    • "very, not very) are nested in the type-1 primary membership functions of the antonyms. Additionally, antonyms can provide an insight to the operation of the human mind with regards to making perceptual judgments [16], [27], [28], which is a matter of deciding between two opposite sides (e.g. hot and cold, good and bad, etc.). "
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    ABSTRACT: Ambient Intelligence (AmI) is a multidisciplinary paradigm, which positively alters the relationship between humans and technology. Concerning home environments, the functions of AmI vision include home automation, communication, entertainment, working and learning. In the area of communication, AmI still needs better mechanisms for human-computer communication. A natural human-computer interaction necessitates having systems capable of modelling words and computing with them. For this purpose, the paradigm of Computing With Words (CWWs) can be employed to mimic human-like communication in Ambient Intelligent Environments (AIEs). This paper demonstrates the extendibility of Linear General Type-2 (LGT2) Fuzzy Logic based CWWs Framework to create an advanced real-world application, which integrates a semi-autonomous, safe and energy efficient electric hob. The motivation of this work is twofold: 1) there is a need to develop transparent human-computer communication rather than embedding obtrusive tablets and computing equipment throughout our surroundings, and 2) one of the most hazardous and energy consuming household devices, the electric hob, does not have competent levels of intelligence and energy efficiency. The proposed Ambient Intelligent Food Preparation System (AIFPS) can increase user comfort, facilitate food preparation, minimize energy consumption and be a useful tool for the elderly and people with major disabilities including vision impairment. The results of real-world experiments with various lay users in the intelligent flat (iSpace) show the success of AIFPS in providing up to 55.43% improved natural interaction (compared to Interval Type-2 based CWWs Framework) while achieving semi-autonomous, safe and energy efficient cooking that can save energy between 11.5% and 35.2%.
    IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine 11/2015; 10(4):66-78. DOI:10.1109/MCI.2015.2471255 · 2.57 Impact Factor
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    • "It was thus argued that the brain must solve this kind of decision-making the same way it does for other decision-making tasks. Decision-making is typically modelled in terms of accumulation of evidence, with a threshold applied to the output of a neural accumulator representing the amount of evidence for a possible solution/outcome (Gold & Shadlen, 2007). Neural recordings in non-human primates' motor cortex confirm that, in a stimulus-driven task, movement are initiated when a constant threshold of neuronal activity is reached and that the distribution of reaction times is due to stochastic fluctuations of activity before reaching the threshold (Hanes & Schall, 1996). "
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    DESCRIPTION: To understand the neurobiological basis of volition, I first reviewed the phenomenology of voluntary actions and the brain circuits involved in each aspects of action generation. In a second part, I focused on a question that has dominated the free-will debate in neuroscience for the last decades: do motor intentions form unconsciously in the brain before we are aware of them? I presented the Libet experiment that first suggested that unconscious neural process are at the origin of conscious motor decisions, I described more recent experiments that arrived at similar conclusions and then detailed the technical and conceptual shortcomings of these experiments. Finally, I reflected on the implications of these findings on the mind-brain problem and reviewed the philosophical and scientific solutions proposed to explain or refute mental causation of actions.
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    • "g . , the value associated with making a left or right saccade ; Gold and Shadlen , 2007 ; Kable and Glimcher , 2009 ) . It is not clear whether they also represent the value associated with goods in addition to the action - value representations ( Padoa - Schioppa , 2011 ; but see Tobler et al . "
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    ABSTRACT: A lottery is a list of mutually exclusive outcomes together with their associated probabilities of occurrence. Decision making is often modeled as choices between lotteries and-in typical research on decision under risk-the probabilities are given to the subject explicitly in numerical form. In this study, we examined lottery decision task where the probabilities of receiving various rewards are contingent on the subjects' own visual performance in a random-dot-motion (RDM) discrimination task, a metacognitive or second order judgment. While there is a large literature concerning the RDM task and there is also a large literature on decision under risk, little is known about metacognitive decisions when the source of uncertainty is visual. Using fMRI with humans, we found distinct fronto-striatal and fronto-parietal networks representing subjects' estimates of his or her performance, reward value, and the expected value (EV) of the lotteries. The fronto-striatal network includes the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and the ventral striatum, involved in reward processing and value-based decision-making. The fronto-parietal network includes the intraparietal sulcus and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, which was shown to be involved in the accumulation of sensory evidence during visual decision making and in metacognitive judgments on visual performance. These results demonstrate that-while valuation of performance-based lotteries involves a common fronto-striatal valuation network-an additional network unique to the estimation of task-related performance is recruited for the integration of probability and reward information when probability is inferred from visual performance.
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 09/2015; 9:314. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00314 · 3.66 Impact Factor
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