Research Article

Hierarchical reasoning by neural circuits in the frontal cortex

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Science  17 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6441, eaav8911
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav8911

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The brain circuits of strategic decisions

Primates can compute and integrate low-level decisions to make strategic adjustments to higher-level decisions. The neural substrates and mechanisms that allow this process are not known. Sarafyazd and Jazayeri performed single-cell recordings in the dorsomedial frontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex of monkeys. They observed that the two brain areas, which have been implicated in error monitoring and the control of adaptive behavior, processed signals involved in causal inference. The anterior cingulate acted downstream of the dorsomedial frontal cortex. It used graded evidence derived from errors in low-level processes in a decision hierarchy to select between longer-term behavioral strategies.

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