Not noisy, just wrong: the role of suboptimal inference in behavioral variability.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Behavior varies from trial to trial even when the stimulus is maintained as constant as possible. In many models, this variability is attributed to noise in the brain. Here, we propose that there is another major source of variability: suboptimal inference. Importantly, we argue that in most tasks of interest, and particularly complex ones, suboptimal inference is likely to be the dominant component of behavioral variability. This perspective explains a variety of intriguing observations, including why variability appears to be larger on the sensory than on the motor side, and why our sensors are sometimes surprisingly unreliable.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Beck, JM; Ma, WJ; Pitkow, X; Latham, PE; Pouget, A

Published Date

  • April 12, 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 74 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 30 - 39

PubMed ID

  • 22500627

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4486264

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-4199

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.03.016


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States