Show Reference: "Decision Theory: What "Should" the Nervous System Do?"

Decision Theory: What "Should" the Nervous System Do? Science, Vol. 318, No. 5850. (26 October 2007), pp. 606-610, doi:10.1126/science.1142998 by Konrad P. K├Ârding
    abstract = {The purpose of our nervous system is to allow us to successfully interact with our environment. This normative idea is formalized by decision theory that defines which choices would be most beneficial. We live in an uncertain world, and each decision may have many possible outcomes; choosing the best decision is thus complicated. Bayesian decision theory formalizes these problems in the presence of uncertainty and often provides compact models that predict observed behavior. With its elegant formalization of the problems faced by the nervous system, it promises to become a major inspiration for studies in neuroscience. 10.1126/science.1142998},
    author = {K\"{o}rding, Konrad P.},
    day = {26},
    doi = {10.1126/science.1142998},
    issn = {1095-9203},
    journal = {Science},
    keywords = {bayes, cognition, computational, decision-making, math, motor, perception, probability},
    month = oct,
    number = {5850},
    pages = {606--610},
    pmid = {17962554},
    posted-at = {2012-08-08 08:24:02},
    priority = {2},
    publisher = {American Association for the Advancement of Science},
    title = {Decision Theory: What "Should" the Nervous System Do?},
    url = {},
    volume = {318},
    year = {2007}

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Nature has had millions of years to optimize the performance of cognitive systems. It is therefore reasonable to assume that they perform optimally wrt. natural tasks and natural conditions.

Bayesian theory provides a framework to determine optimal strategies. Therefore, it makes sense to operate under the assumption that the processes we observe in nature can be understood as implementations of Bayes-optimal strategies.