Hugh C. Morris Lecture: Philip Holmes (Princeton University)

  • Date: 11/01/2013
  • Time: 15:00
Philip Holmes, Princeton University

University of British Columbia



Can We Choose Optimally? The Neural Dynamics of Decisions.



Each day we make many choices, often under time pressure and with poor information. How do we do this? The basic electro-chemistry of individual neurons and synapses in our brains is fairly well understood. The key problem is one of scale: how do almost a trillion neurons and many more synapses interact to sift noisy evidence and weigh it against prior knowledge?  I will describe how mathematical models, coupled with human and animal experiments, illuminate the neural mechanisms responsible for some simple decisions and actions.


The talk will draw on joint work with Fuat Balci, Rafal Bogacz, Jonathan Cohen, Philip Eckhoff, Eric Shea-Brown, Patrick Simen, Marieke van Vugt, Kong Fatt Wong-Lin and Miriam Zacksenhouse.  Research supported by NIMH and AFOSR.




Lecture in Earth Sciences Building 2012, with a reception at PIMS at 2:30 pm.

Other Information: 


This lecture series was made possible by an endowment from Dr Hugh Morris (1932-2012),
former Board Chair and longtime friend of the mathematical sciences.