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Annu Rev Neurosci. 2014;37:205-20. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-071013-014017.

Neural coding of uncertainty and probability.

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Center for Neural Science and Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, New York 10003; email:


Organisms must act in the face of sensory, motor, and reward uncertainty stemming from a pandemonium of stochasticity and missing information. In many tasks, organisms can make better decisions if they have at their disposal a representation of the uncertainty associated with task-relevant variables. We formalize this problem using Bayesian decision theory and review recent behavioral and neural evidence that the brain may use knowledge of uncertainty, confidence, and probability.


Bayesian inference; decision making; perception; population encoding

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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