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So, today I will present to you the

important model of Neuroeconomics.
And it is a Diffusion model of decision
So we try to understand how neurons are
programming our decisions.
As you know Neuroeconomics is trying to
understand, how sensory information is
transformed into decisions.
So, somehow information is collected by
our sensory organs.
And next, we estimate alternatives, and
make a decisions.
So, today we will see how neuron
populations are programming our decisions.
According to the Neuroeconomics view, our
decisions are
products of the activity of our neuron
So, somewhere in neurons, in neuronal
activity our decisions are programmed.
How can we study this process?
We can record the single neuron activity.
As you know now we can record single
spikes firing rate of these neurons.
We will see today how firing rate, how the
number of
spikes per second, can actually indicate
the process of decision making.
As you see here, on this graph, we
can record the single spike, a single
action potential.
But during the experiment, we can record
number of spikes that is produced by the
Here, you see an example of the activity
of a neuron during the task.
Each line represents a trial.
We see a cloud of spikes at certain time
So, at this moment, neuron produces a lot
of spikes, a lot of action potentials.
This neuron is activated, it is a bit
to create a histogram, as you see below
this graph.
And this histogram this graph represents a
firing rate, the number of spikes per
Here, on this graph we clearly see that
this particular neuron
is activated, produces a lot of spikes at
certain time window.
So, today you will see few of these graphs
this, representing the firing rate during
the decision making process.
So, let's move into neuroeconomics.
Please, make a look to this image.
What do you see on this screen?
Perhaps some of you are confused, but this
is a very
famous picture, that is presented in many
handbooks on cognitive psychology.
So, I can actually change my question.
Do you see here, a house or a dog?
Some of you, perhaps recognize a dog at
the center of this image.
And so somehow, our brain is capable to
process very complex
and noisy information, then we construct
an image of an object of the dog.
And this is an example of the perceptual
Perceptual decisions are those decisions,
decision-makers categorize ambiguous, or
noisy, sensory information.
Surprisingly, first new economic studies.
Used perceptual decision tasks to
investigate the decision-making process.
And actually, they use quite strange
Please make a look to this image.
Do you recognize this image?
So perhaps it's not easy.
But now I will add some motion to this
image, and perhaps you clearly can
recognize a moving person.
So our brain is a very sensitive to
We have specialized neurons that are
insensitive to motion information, and
this very
nice technique illustrates our particular
specificity, our
specialization of our brain on moving
Actually, our brain can instruct a lot of
complex information from moving patterns.
So, for example here, you see that quite
complex patterns
are clearly recognized as particular
objects as a particular information.
So, our brain is very sensitive to motion,
there are are specialized neurons that are
sensitive to motion.
And interestingly.
First neuroeconomic studies actually
investigated, the behavior
of neurons that are sensitive to motion.
Let's make a look, now, to this first
neuroeconomics task.
This is so-called perceptual
discrimination task.
So, here, an animal, a monkey, has to
switch gaze in certain direction.
So, this monkey has to switch gaze right
or left.
So, it has to switch the gaze in the same
direction as the majority of dots are
moving on the screen.
So, if the majority of dots are moving
right, animal has to switch gaze right.
If the majority of dots are moving left.
Monkey has the switch, gaze left.
Of course, those are car can move in
various directions so, with this
very simple task, we can create different
levels of the difficulty of the task.
So, if all dots are moving right, there's
a very simple perceptual decision.
Because, it's really clear that all dots
are moving right.
If only 50% of dots will move right.
It's relatively difficult task, but it is
still possible to recognize this motion.
But if all dots are moving in random
directions, it
is almost impossible to, basically make
correct decisions only by chance.
Monkey couldn't make it.
So, this is a very difficult perceptual
decision task.
So, we can now study how does brain of the
make a simple perceptual decision, whether
dots are moving right, or left?
So, here, you see the actual stimuli used
in the first neuroeconomic studies.
So, for example, is this video represents
the easy
task, here all dots are moving in the same
direction, so its really easy for the
monkey to
recognize the right motion, and make the
correct decision.
In the next video, you see more difficult
here only 50% of the dots are moving
So, it is relatively difficult to
this motion, but it is still possible.
And here, what you see is the most
difficult version of the task.
Dots are moving in random directions so
can makes a correct decision only by
So how does brain of the monkey makes the
perceptual decision?
To sweep gaze right or left depending on
the perceived motion of the script.
An economist recommended to her a simple
You can image that visual information is
projected in our retina.
And next information is delivered to the
visual cortex.
Imagine that there are motion detectors is
the brain.
Left Motion Detector and Right Motion
These neurons are sensitive to motion.
Activity of these neurons is proportional
to the amount of motion on the screen.
And next there are decision making
A network of neurons that simply compare
the activity
of the Left Motion Detectors and the Right
Motion Detectors.
So, if we use labels, activity a and
activity b, the decision making neurons
will decide that monkey see left motion if
activity a
is larger just like activity b and monkey
would decide that monkey observe
the right motion, if activity b will be
larger than activity A.
So, this network of neurons, decision
making network, simply compare the sensory
evidences for alternatives A and B for
left and right side motion.
So, let's next make a look to the actual
behavior of the neurons in the brain of
the monkey