Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


What to do and how

Decisions can differ depending on the context that surrounds them. Analyses of the prefrontal cortex region of the monkey brain indicate that a dynamical process at the neuronal population level controls this behaviour. See Article p.78

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The experiment and its results.


  1. Pfeiffer, B. E. & Foster, D. J. Nature 497, 74–79 (2013).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Dombeck, D. A., Khabbaz, A. N., Collman, F., Adelman, T. L. & Tank, D. W. Neuron 56, 43–57 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Yu, B. M. et al. J. Neurophysiol. 102, 614–635 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Goldman, M. S. Neuron 61, 621–634 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Laurent, G. Nature Rev. Neurosci. 3, 884–895 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Briggman, K. L., Abarbanel, H. D. I. & Kristan, W. B. Jr Science 307, 896–901 (2005).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Machens, C. K., Romo, R. & Brody, C. D. J. Neurosci. 30, 350–360 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Harvey, C. D., Coen, P. & Tank, D. W. Nature 484, 62–68 (2012).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Churchland, M. M. et al. Nature 487, 51–56 (2012).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Shenoy, K. V., Sahani, M. & Churchland, M. M. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 36, 337–359 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Rigotti, M. et al. Nature 497, 585–590 (2013).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Mante, V., Sussillo, D., Shenoy, K. V. & Newsome, W. T. Nature 503, 78–84 (2013).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Miller, E. K. & Cohen, J. D. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 24, 167–202 (2001).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Roy, J. E., Riesenhuber, M., Poggio, T. & Miller, E. K. J. Neurosci. 30, 8519–8528 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Clark, K. L., Noudoost, B. & Moore, T. J. Neurosci. 32, 10907–10914 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Carlos D. Brody.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Erlich, J., Brody, C. What to do and how. Nature 503, 45–47 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing