中国科技核心期刊
CN:31-1600/Q
ISSN:1004-0374
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《生命科学》 2014, 26(12): 1266-1272
大脑中的抉择神经元
杨天明
中国科学院上海生命科学研究院神经科学研究所,脑科学卓越创新中心,灵长类神经生物学重点实验室,上海 200031
近年来神经科学领域的进展表明,大脑中不仅存在如位置神经元之类的特异性编码感觉信息的神经元,也存在能够特异性地反映动物思考过程的神经元。在一系列以侧内顶叶(LIP) 为目标的猕猴电生理实验中,人们发现LIP 神经元的动作电位发放率可以反映抉择思考的过程。抉择的研究为我们打开了一个研究大脑高级认知功能的窗口。抉择神经元的发现表明了大脑的高级认知功能是基于与感觉信息处理类似的神经计算原理。
 
Decision-making neurons in the brain
YANG Tian-Ming
Institute of Neuroscience, Key Laboratory of Primate Neurobiology, CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science,Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China
Recent advances in neuroscience have revealed that the neural activity of single neurons not only encodes specific sensory information, such as in the case of place cells discovered in the hippocampus, but also reflects cognitive processes in the brain. A series of studies of the lateral intraparietal cortex (LIP) in macaque monkeys demonstrated neurons in LIP are involved in decision making. During decision making, the brain combines sensory, value, and cost information into a single decision variable and forms a decision accordingly. The activity of LIP neurons reflects this calculation and encodes the decision variable. The dynamics of LIP neurons closely follows the changes in the evidence accumulation during the decision process and signals its termination. The study of decision making opens a window to the understanding of mental processes in the brain. The findings of decision-making neurons provide us insights of how complex cognitive brain functions may be achieved by the same principles of neural computation underlying sensory information processing.
 
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