Decision making as a window on cognition

Michael N. Shadlen, Roozbeh Kiani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-806
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 30 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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