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Last edited by Nere
May 20, 2011 | History

Decisions, Uncertainty, and the Brain 3 editions

Cover of: Decisions, Uncertainty, and the Brain by Paul W. Glimcher
About the Book

In this work, Paul Glimcher argues that economic theory may provide an alternative to the classical Cartesian model of the brain and behavior. Ren Descartes (1596-1650) believed that all behaviors could be divided into two categories, the simple and the complex. Simple behaviors were those in which a given sensory event gave rise deterministically to an appropriate motor response. Complex behaviors were those in which the relationship between stimulus and response was unpredictable. These behaviors were the product of a process that Descartes called the soul, but that a modern scientist might call cognition or volition. Glimcher argues that Cartesian dualism operates from the false premise that the reflex is able to describe behavior in the real world that animals inhabit. A mathematically rich cognitive theory, he claims, could solve the most difficult problems that any environment could present, eliminating the need for dualism by eliminating the need for a reflex theory. Such a mathematically rigorous description of the neural processes that connect sensation and action, he explains, will have its roots in microeconomic theory. Economic theory allows physiologists to define both the optimal course of action that an animal might select and a mathematical route by which that optimal solution can be derived. Glimcher outlines what an economics-based cognitive model might look like and how one would begin to test it empirically. Along the way, he presents a fascinating history of neuroscience. He also discusses related questions about determinism, free will, and the stochastic nature of complex behavior.

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3 editions First published in 2002

Edition Read Borrow Buy
Cover of: Decisions, uncertainty, and the brain
2002, MIT Press
Decisions, uncertainty, and the brain
in English
Cover of: Decisions, Uncertainty, and the Brain
March 1, 2003, The MIT Press
Decisions, Uncertainty, and the Brain
Hardcover in English
Cover of: Decisions, Uncertainty, and the Brain
October 1, 2004, The MIT Press
Decisions, Uncertainty, and the Brain
Paperback in English

History Created December 11, 2009 · 3 revisions Download catalog record: RDF / JSON

May 20, 2011 Edited by Nere Edited without comment.
April 28, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Linked existing covers to the work.
December 11, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page