Predicting the accuracy of a decision: A neural mechanism of confidence

Christopher R. Fetsch, Roozbeh Kiani, Michael N. Shadlen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The quantitative study of decision-making has traditionally rested on three key behavioral measures: accuracy, response time, and confidence. Of these, confidence-defined as the degree of belief, prior to feedback, that a decision is correct-is least well understood at the level of neural mechanism, although recent years have seen a surge in interest in the topic among theoretical and systems neuroscientists. Here we review some of these developments and highlight a particular candidate mechanism for assigning confidence in a perceptual decision. The mechanism is appealing because it is rooted in the same decision-making framework-bounded accumulation of evidence-that successfully explains accuracy and reaction time in many tasks, and it is validated by neurophysiology and microstimulation experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalCold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting the accuracy of a decision: A neural mechanism of confidence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this