January 12, 2016

How do ensembles of neurons work together to make decisions—such as eyeing a target, then reaching for it? Different groups of neurons “predict” the body’s subsequent looking and reaching movements, suggesting an orchestration among distinct parts of the brain, a team of neuroscientists at New York University has found. The study, which appeared in the journal Nature Neuroscience, enhances our understanding of the decision-making process, potentially offering insights into different forms of mental illness in which this dynamic is typically impaired.