Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Experimental data indicate that perceptual decision making involves integration of sensory evidence in certain cortical areas. Theoretical studies have proposed that the computation in neural decision circuits approximates statistically optimal decision procedures (e.g., sequential probability ratio test) that maximize the reward rate in sequential choice tasks. However, these previous studies assumed that the sensory evidence was represented by continuous values from gaussian distributions with the same variance across alternatives. In this article, we make a more realistic assumption that sensory evidence is represented in spike trains described by the Poisson processes, which naturally satisfy the mean-variance relationship observed in sensory neurons. We show that for such a representation, the neural circuits involving cortical integrators and basal ganglia can approximate the optimal decision procedures for two and multiple alternative choice tasks.

Original publication




Journal article


Neural Comput

Publication Date





1113 - 1148


Action Potentials, Algorithms, Basal Ganglia, Cerebral Cortex, Computer Simulation, Decision Making, Humans, Models, Neurological, Neural Pathways, Neurons, Neuropsychological Tests, Normal Distribution, Poisson Distribution, Sensory Receptor Cells, Time Factors