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Science. 2009 May 8;324(5928):759-64. doi: 10.1126/science.1169405.

Representation of confidence associated with a decision by neurons in the parietal cortex.

Author information

  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Primate Research Center and Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. roozbeh@u.washington.edu

Abstract

The degree of confidence in a decision provides a graded and probabilistic assessment of expected outcome. Although neural mechanisms of perceptual decisions have been studied extensively in primates, little is known about the mechanisms underlying choice certainty. We have shown that the same neurons that represent formation of a decision encode certainty about the decision. Rhesus monkeys made decisions about the direction of moving random dots, spanning a range of difficulties. They were rewarded for correct decisions. On some trials, after viewing the stimulus, the monkeys could opt out of the direction decision for a small but certain reward. Monkeys exercised this option in a manner that revealed their degree of certainty. Neurons in parietal cortex represented formation of the direction decision and the degree of certainty underlying the decision to opt out.

PMID:
19423820
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2738936
Free PMC Article
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