Generating Optimal Decisions: How the Brain Deals With Uncertainty

Dedicated circuits evaluate uncertainty in the brain, preventing it from using unreliable information to make decisions.
As we interact with the world, we are constantly presented with information that is unreliable or incomplete — from jumbled voices in a crowded room to solicitous strangers with unknown motivations. Fortunately, our brains are well equipped to evaluate the quality of the evidence we use to make decisions, usually allowing us to act deliberately, without jumping to conclusions.

Now, neuroscientists at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research have homed in on key brain circuits that help guide decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. By …