Biological organisms are bound by the same rules as all other physical systems, but suggest different explanatory frameworks based on agency and purpose — that is, we describe them as making decisions. Simple perceptual decision-making tasks allow a rigorous quantitative investigation of the mechanistic underpinnings of the of process of “choice”, helping us tease apart the relative causal influence of external influences and a variety of internal processes during the specification of actions. In our lab, we use quantitative approaches to study various aspects of cognition that are relevant to decision-making. We are interested in understanding both the computational principles that are at play on a given behavioral task — both from a normative and from a mechanistic perspective — as well as in making progress towards elucidating the neural basis of these processes. Our strategy relies on the detailed analysis and theoretical modelling of behavior — as a starting point to the study of the function of the nervous system using recordings and perturbations.
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