William T. Newsome

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We compared the ability of psychophysical observers and single cortical neurons to discriminate weak motion signals in a stochastic visual display. All data were obtained from rhesus monkeys trained to perform a direction discrimination task near psychophysical threshold. The conditions for such a comparison were ideal in that both psychophysical and(More)
We recorded the activity of single neurons in the posterior parietal cortex (area LIP) of two rhesus monkeys while they discriminated the direction of motion in random-dot visual stimuli. The visual task was similar to a motion discrimination task that has been used in previous investigations of motion-sensitive regions of the extrastriate cortex. The(More)
We have previously documented the exquisite motion sensitivity of neurons in extrastriate area MT by studying the relationship between their responses and the direction and strength of visual motion signals delivered to their receptive fields. These results suggested that MT neurons might provide the signals supporting behavioral choice in visual(More)
Cortical neurons exhibit tremendous variability in the number and temporal distribution of spikes in their discharge patterns. Furthermore, this variability appears to be conserved over large regions of the cerebral cortex, suggesting that it is neither reduced nor expanded from stage to stage within a processing pathway. To investigate the principles(More)
Single neurons can signal subtle changes in the sensory environment with surprising fidelity, often matching the perceptual sensitivity of trained psychophysical observers. This similarity poses an intriguing puzzle: why is psychophysical sensitivity not greater than that of single neurons? Pooling responses across neurons should average out noise in the(More)
The topographic organization of striate cortex in the macaque was studied using physiological recording techniques. Results were displayed on two-dimensional maps of the cortex, which facilitated the quantitative analysis of various features of the visual representation. The representation was found to be asymmetric with more cortex devoted to lower than to(More)
We studied the simultaneous activity of pairs of neurons recorded with a single electrode in visual cortical area MT while monkeys performed a direction discrimination task. Previously, we reported the strength of interneuronal correlation of spike count on the time scale of the behavioral epoch (2 sec) and noted its potential impact on signal pooling(More)
Physiological experiments indicate that the middle temporal visual area (MT) of primates plays a prominent role in the cortical analysis of visual motion. We investigated the role of MT in visual perception by examining the effect of chemical lesions of MT on psychophysical thresholds. We trained rhesus monkeys on psychophysical tasks that enabled us to(More)
Psychologists and economists have long appreciated the contribution of reward history and expectation to decision-making. Yet we know little about how specific histories of choice and reward lead to an internal representation of the "value" of possible actions. We approached this problem through an integrated application of behavioral, computational, and(More)
We have documented previously a close relationship between neuronal activity in the middle temporal visual area (MT or V5) and behavioral judgments of motion (Newsome et al., 1989; Salzman et al., 1990; Britten et al., 1992; Britten et al., 1996). We have now used numerical simulations to try to understand how neural signals in area MT support(More)