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Perceptual and cognitive influences on decision making and the activity of single neurons in the superior colliculus and frontal eye field

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abstract
Responding to changes in our environment is a fundamental component of our humanity. On a daily basis we are faced with innumerable decisions based on highly salient information: Which bottle is the shampoo? Which fruit should I select for consumption? Should I move left or right to avoid hitting the obstacle directly in front of me? To accurately make these choices we must gather information through the senses, evaluate and integrate it according to our current goals and internal state, and finally use it to produce motor responses. Perceptual decision making is a field within systems neuroscience that aims to resolve how this process unfolds. In contrast to choice behavior and decision making in general, which are closely related concepts traditionally studied by psychologists, behavioral ecologists, and economists, perceptual decision making emphasizes the role of sensory information in directing behavior (e.g., during a choice). While the results from decades of research have greatly increased our understanding of the choice process, much still remains unclear regarding how perceptual processing guides decisions, and the underlying neural activity. Moreover, even for the simplest of choices (i.e., movement toward a single, unambiguous stimulus), how the activity of single neurons determines when a movement will occur is still a matter of debate.
subject
Cognition
Decision-making
Frontal eye field
Perception
Reaction time
Superior colliculus
contributor
Hauser, Chris K. (author)
Salinas, Emilio (committee chair)
Constantinidis, Christos (committee member)
Rowland, Benjamin (committee member)
Weiner, Jeff (committee member)
date
2017-08-22T08:35:28Z (accessioned)
2017 (issued)
degree
Neurobiology & Anatomy (discipline)
2018-08-21 (liftdate)
embargo
2018-08-21 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/86351 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Perceptual and cognitive influences on decision making and the activity of single neurons in the superior colliculus and frontal eye field
type
Dissertation

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