Neural circuitry of judgment and decision mechanisms

Ioan Opris, Charles J. Bruce

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Tracing the neural circuitry of decision formation is a critical step in the understanding of higher cognitive function. To make a decision, the primate brain coordinates dynamic interactions between several cortical and subcortical areas that process sensory, cognitive, and reward information. In selecting the optimal behavioral response, decision mechanisms integrate the accumulating evidence with reward expectation and knowledge from prior experience, and deliberate about the choice that matches the expected outcome. Linkages between sensory input and behavioral output responsible for response selection are shown in the neural activity of structures from the prefrontal-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical loop. The deliberation process can be best described in terms of sensitivity, selection bias, and activation threshold. Here, we show a systems neuroscience approach of the visual saccade decision circuit and the interaction between its components during decision formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-526
Number of pages18
JournalBrain Research Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Basal ganglia
  • Decision making
  • Executive function
  • Microstimulation
  • Neostriatum
  • Neural circuit
  • Neural system
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Recording
  • Reward
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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