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Trends Cogn Sci. 2018 Dec;22(12):1091-1102. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2018.09.002. Epub 2018 Sep 29.

Decoding Cognitive Processes from Neural Ensembles.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA. Electronic address: wallis@berkeley.edu.

Abstract

An intrinsic difficulty in studying cognitive processes is that they are unobservable states that exist in between observable responses to the sensory environment. Cognitive states must be inferred from indirect behavioral measures. Neuroscience potentially provides the tools necessary to measure cognitive processes directly, but it is challenged on two fronts. First, neuroscientific measures often lack the spatiotemporal resolution to identify the neural computations that underlie a cognitive process. Second, the activity of a single neuron, which is the fundamental building block of neural computation, is too noisy to provide accurate measurements of a cognitive process. In this paper, I examine recent developments in neurophysiological recording and analysis methods that provide a potential solution to these problems.

KEYWORDS:

decision making; high-level cognition; neural decoding; neurophysiology; orbitofrontal cortex

PMID:
30279136
PMCID:
PMC6240384
DOI:
10.1016/j.tics.2018.09.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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