Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter Hammerstein and Jeffrey R. Stevens

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262018081

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262018081.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 26 May 2022

Neuroethology of Decision Making

Neuroethology of Decision Making

(p.81) 6 Neuroethology of Decision Making
Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making

Geoffrey K. Adams

Karli K. Watson

John Pearson

Michael L. Platt

The MIT Press

A neuroethological approach to decision making posits that neural circuits mediating choice evolved through natural selection to link sensory systems flexibly to motor output in a way that enhances the fit between behavior and the local environment. This chapter discusses basic prerequisites for a variety of decision systems from this viewpoint, with a focus on two of the best studied and most widely represented decision problems. The first is patch leaving, a prototype of environmentally based switching between action patterns. The second is social information seeking, a behavior that, while functionally distinct from foraging, can be addressed in a similar framework. It is argued that while the specific neural solutions to these problems sometimes differ across species, both the problems themselves and the algorithms instantiated by biological hardware are repeated widely throughout nature. The behavioral and mathematical study of ubiquitous decision processes like patch leaving and information seeking thus provides a powerful new approach to uncovering the fundamental design structure of nervous systems.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Reports, decision making, action planning, decision algorithms, computational framework, patch leaving, social information seeking

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.