Thursday, November 21, 2013
Beckman Behavioral Biology 24
Behavioral Social Neuroscience Seminar
Decision-Making in Perception and Action
Angela Yu, UC San Diego
Perception and action are often studied in both empirical and theoretical research as feed-forward, reactive processes. In more natural settings, the brain finely controls behavioral interactions with the environment in a dynamic and goal-directed fashion, such that it constantly makes proactive decisions in light of potential future outcomes. Using state-of-the-art tools from stochastic control theory, in combination with more standard Bayesian statistical modeling tools, my work has shown that many behavioral and neural phenomena can be understood as rational decision-making by the brain at different timescales and levels of abstraction. In this talk, I will give an overview of my modeling and experimental work that uses decision-theoretic concepts to understand the formal link between neurophysiology and behavior in various aspects of cognition: perception, attention, cognitive control, and foraging.