Anne K. Churchland

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Simple perceptual tasks have laid the groundwork for understanding the neurobiology of decision-making. Here, we examined this foundation to explain how decision-making circuitry adjusts in the face of a more difficult task. We measured behavioral and physiological responses of monkeys on a two- and four-choice direction-discrimination decision task. For(More)
When making a decision, one must first accumulate evidence, often over time, and then select the appropriate action. Here, we present a neural model of decision making that can perform both evidence accumulation and action selection optimally. More specifically, we show that, given a Poisson-like distribution of spike counts, biological neural networks can(More)
Decision making often involves the accumulation of information over time, but acquiring information typically comes at a cost. Little is known about the cost incurred by animals and humans for acquiring additional information from sensory variables due, for instance, to attentional efforts. Through a novel integration of diffusion models and dynamic(More)
A decision is a commitment to a proposition among multiple options. Often this commitment leads to a particular course of action. It might be said that the life of an organism consists of a series of decisions made in time [29]. Leaving aside the moral dimension of choices, it is reasonable to view even pedestrian decisions as a window on higher cognitive(More)
In instrumental learning, Thorndike's law of effect states that stimulus-response relations are strengthened if they occur prior to positive reinforcement and weakened if they occur prior to negative reinforcement. In this study, we demonstrate that neural correlates of Thorndike's law may be observed in the primary auditory cortex, A1. Adult owl monkeys(More)
The vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) generates compensatory eye movements to stabilize visual images on the retina during head movements. The amplitude of the reflex is calibrated continuously throughout life and undergoes adaptation, also called motor learning, when head movements are persistently associated with image motion. Although the floccular-complex of(More)
The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) receives diverse inputs and is involved in a dizzying array of behaviors. These many behaviors could rely on distinct categories of neurons specialized to represent particular variables or could rely on a single population of PPC neurons that is leveraged in different ways. To distinguish these possibilities, we evaluated(More)
In previous experiments, on-line modulation of the gain of visual-motor transmission for pursuit eye movements was demonstrated in monkeys by showing that the response to a brief perturbation of target motion was strongly enhanced during pursuit relative to during fixation. The present paper elaborates the properties of on-line gain control by recording the(More)
The study of perceptual decision-making offers insight into how the brain uses complex, sometimes ambiguous information to guide actions. Understanding the underlying processes and their neural bases requires that one pair recordings and manipulations of neural activity with rigorous psychophysics. Though this research has been traditionally performed in(More)
Delayed nonmatching to sample (DNMS) is used to test the recognition memory function dependent on the medial temporal lobe. Children cannot succeed on this task until about 21 months. Because robust recognition is present well before then, the late emergence of another ability must account for the late success on DNMS. Evidence is presented here that the(More)