T&C Chen Center for Social and Decision Neuroscience Seminar

Thursday, May 13, 2021
10:00am to 11:00am
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Online Event
Neural codes in early sensory areas maximize fitness
Todd Hare, Associate Professor of Neuroeconomics and Human Development, University of Zurich,


Abstract: It has generally been presumed that sensory information en- coded by a nervous system should be as accurate as its biological limitations allow. However, perhaps counter intuitively, accurate representations of sensory signals do not necessarily maximize the organism's chances of survival. We show that neural codes that maximize reward expectation—and not accurate sensory representations—account for retinal responses in insects, and retinotopically-specific adaptive codes in humans. Thus, our results provide evidence that fitness-maximizing rules imposed by the environment are applied at the earliest stages of sensory processing.

For more information, or if you are interested in attending this online seminar, please contact Liz Schroeder by email at [email protected].