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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2016 Apr;37:149-157. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2016.01.003. Epub 2016 Feb 12.

Neural underpinnings of the evidence accumulator.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA; Princeton Neuroscience Institute and Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA. Electronic address:
Center for Neuroscience, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95618, USA; Department of Neurology, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


Gradual accumulation of evidence favoring one or another choice is considered a core component of many different types of decisions, and has been the subject of many neurophysiological studies in non-human primates. But its neural circuit mechanisms remain mysterious. Investigating it in rodents has recently become possible, facilitating perturbation experiments to delineate the relevant causal circuit, as well as the application of other tools more readily available in rodents. In addition, advances in stimulus design and analysis have aided studying the relevant neural encoding. In complement to ongoing non-human primate studies, these newly available model systems and tools place the field at an exciting time that suggests that the dynamical circuit mechanisms underlying accumulation of evidence could soon be revealed.

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