People and animals alike are constantly faced with decisions, ranging from simple perceptual classifications to complex social games. This seminar will address how the brain manipulates signals in the service of choices, with a strong emphasis on the contributions of individual neurons and neuronal circuit properties. The specific papers covered will depend in part on the interests of participants, but will include studies on the information encoded by cortical, basal ganglia and dopamine neurons, and how such signals reflect processes of evaluation, expectancy and response competition.
Each student will present 1-2 papers on the neurophysiology of decision-making. This presentation will count for most of the grade, and will require corresponding in-depth background reading and preparation. This is primarily a graduate course but advanced undergraduates may be allowed to enroll if they have an adequate background in neuroscience and cognitive science. Total student enrollment is limited to 24 and is by permission of instructor.