Decisions, decisions

08 February 2016

Interview with

Veit Stuphorn, Johns Hopkins University

Making decisions is something we do continuously throughout the day. But what's going on neurologically while this is happening? There are two theories: one says that we weigh up all of the possible options, pick the best one and then make a motor plan to achieve the desired outcome. In contrast, the other theory posits that the decision is part of the motor process itself and that different neuronal assemblages representing the possible outcomes compete brain activity Stuphornwith each other until one wins out and becomes the decision we make. Unfortunately, there's data supporting both theories! And they can't both be right. But what no one had done before was to test both theories at the same time, to see what the real pecking order is. And this is what Veit Stuphorn set out to do...

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