Article

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

ABSTRACT

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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    • "The classical theory of decision making is based on its utility [7], [8], [9], [10]. A more recent approach considers individual decision making as a mental process in neural networks [1], [2], and collective decision making as the result of a purely additive or highly interactive process in social networks [11], [12], [13], [14], [15]. In this case, utility of the individual decision making can be calculated, and the two theories are related to each other [1]. "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences
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    • "The classical theory of decision making is based on its utility [7], [8], [9], [10]. A more recent approach considers individual decision making as a mental process in neural networks [1], [2], and collective decision making as the result of a purely additive or highly interactive process in social networks [11], [12], [13], [14], [15]. In this case, utility of the individual decision making can be calculated, and the two theories are related to each other [1]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Collective behavior of a group of individuals is studied. Each individual adopts one of two alternative decisions on the basis of a neural network bistable dynamical system. The parameters of this system are regulated by collective behavior of the group with the purpose to control the number of individuals with certain decision. It is shown how behavior of the group depends on the distribution of initial states of individuals before they begin the process of decision making. If this distribution is narrow, then it can be impossible to achieve a stable coexistence of two decisions, and oscillations in the number of individuals with given decisions are observed. Various implications of this theory are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences
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    • "However, probabilistic pre-cues can confound predictability with preferability of a motor goal. Among multiple targets, if the validity of one target becomes larger, the probability of receiving reward at that target also increases, and hence the expected value, defined as the product of probability and amount of reward (Von Neumann and Morgenstern, 1944; Gold and Shadlen, 2007; Levy and Glimcher, 2012), will also increase for the higher-validity target. In order to disentangle the effect of planning from the effect of reward expectation, we designed two tasks with matched expected rewards but only one of which encouraged preliminary action planning. "
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    ABSTRACT: According to an emerging view, decision-making, and motor planning are tightly entangled at the level of neural processing. Choice is influenced not only by the values associated with different options, but also biased by other factors. Here we test the hypothesis that preliminary action planning can induce choice biases gradually and independently of objective value when planning overlaps with one of the potential action alternatives. Subjects performed center-out reaches obeying either a clockwise or counterclockwise cue-response rule in two tasks. In the probabilistic task, a pre-cue indicated the probability of each of the two potential rules to become valid. When the subsequent rule-cue unambiguously indicated which of the pre-cued rules was actually valid (instructed trials), subjects responded faster to rules pre-cued with higher probability. When subjects were allowed to choose freely between two equally rewarded rules (choice trials) they chose the originally more likely rule more often and faster, despite the lack of an objective advantage in selecting this target. In the amount task, the pre-cue indicated the amount of potential reward associated with each rule. Subjects responded faster to rules pre-cued with higher reward amount in instructed trials of the amount task, equivalent to the more likely rule in the probabilistic task. Yet, in contrast, subjects showed hardly any choice bias and no increase in response speed in favor of the original high-reward target in the choice trials of the amount task. We conclude that free-choice behavior is robustly biased when predictability encourages the planning of one of the potential responses, while prior reward expectations without action planning do not induce such strong bias. Our results provide behavioral evidence for distinct contributions of expected value and action planning in decision-making and a tight interdependence of motor planning and action selection, supporting the idea that the underlying neural mechanisms overlap.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
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