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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)
Low-frequency electrical signals like those that compose the local field potential (LFP) can be detected at substantial distances from their point of origin within the brain. It is thus unclear how useful the LFP might be for assessing local function, for example, on the spatial scale of cortical columns. We addressed this problem by comparing speed and(More)
Neural responses are typically characterized by computing the mean firing rate, but response variability can exist across trials. Many studies have examined the effect of a stimulus on the mean response, but few have examined the effect on response variability. We measured neural variability in 13 extracellularly recorded datasets and one intracellularly(More)
To make adaptive decisions, animals must evaluate the costs and benefits of available options. The nascent field of neuroeconomics has set itself the ambitious goal of understanding the brain mechanisms that are responsible for these evaluative processes. A series of recent neurophysiological studies in monkeys has begun to address this challenge using(More)
The equilibrium phenomenon of matching behavior traditionally has been studied in stationary environments. Here we attempt to uncover the local mechanism of choice that gives rise to matching by studying behavior in a highly dynamic foraging environment. In our experiments, 2 rhesus monkeys (Macacca mulatta) foraged for juice rewards by making eye movements(More)
Midbrain dopamine neurons are activated when reward is greater than predicted, and this error signal could teach target neurons both the value of reward and when it will occur. We used the dopamine error signal to measure how the expectation of reward was distributed over time. Animals were trained with fixed-duration intervals of 1-16 s between conditioned(More)
We conducted electrophysiological recording and microstimulation experiments to test the hypothesis that the middle temporal visual area (MT) plays a direct role in perception of the speed of moving visual stimuli. We trained rhesus monkeys on a speed discrimination task in which monkeys chose the faster speed of two moving random dot patterns presented(More)
Single neurons in cortical area LIP are known to carry information relevant to both sensory and value-based decisions that are reported by eye movements. It is not known, however, how sensory and value information are combined in LIP when individual decisions must be based on a combination of these variables. To investigate this issue, we conducted(More)
The sensitivity of a population of neurons, and therefore the amount of sensory information available to an animal, is limited by the sensitivity of single neurons in the population and by noise correlation between neurons. For decades, therefore, neurophysiologists have devised increasingly clever and rigorous ways to measure these critical variables(More)
Prefrontal cortex is thought to have a fundamental role in flexible, context-dependent behaviour, but the exact nature of the computations underlying this role remains largely unknown. In particular, individual prefrontal neurons often generate remarkably complex responses that defy deep understanding of their contribution to behaviour. Here we study(More)