Decision making as a window on cognition

Neuron. 2013 Oct 30;80(3):791-806. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.10.047.


A decision is a commitment to a proposition or plan of action based on information and values associated with the possible outcomes. The process operates in a flexible timeframe that is free from the immediacy of evidence acquisition and the real time demands of action itself. Thus, it involves deliberation, planning, and strategizing. This Perspective focuses on perceptual decision making in nonhuman primates and the discovery of neural mechanisms that support accuracy, speed, and confidence in a decision. We suggest that these mechanisms expose principles of cognitive function in general, and we speculate about the challenges and directions before the field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / physiology
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological
  • Perception / physiology*
  • Signal Detection, Psychological