Evidence accumulation during perceptual decisions in humans varies as a function of dorsal frontoparietal organization

Méadhbh B. Brosnan, Kristina Sabaroedin, Tim Silk, Sila Genc, Daniel P. Newman, Gerard M. Loughnane, Alex Fornito, Redmond G. O’Connell, Mark A. Bellgrove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Animal neurophysiological studies have identified neural signals within dorsal frontoparietal areas that trace a perceptual decision by accumulating sensory evidence over time and trigger action upon reaching a threshold. Although analogous accumulation-to-bound signals are identifiable on extracranial human electroencephalography, their cortical origins remain unknown. Here neural metrics of human evidence accumulation, predictive of the speed of perceptual reports, were isolated using electroencephalography and related to dorsal frontoparietal network (dFPN) connectivity using diffusion and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. The build-up rate of evidence accumulation mediated the relationship between the white matter macrostructure of dFPN pathways and the efficiency of perceptual reports. This association between steeper build-up rates of evidence accumulation and the dFPN was recapitulated in the resting-state networks. Stronger connectivity between dFPN regions is thus associated with faster evidence accumulation and speeded perceptual decisions. Our findings identify an integrated network for perceptual decisions that may be targeted for neurorehabilitation in cognitive disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-855
Number of pages12
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • decision
  • human behaviour
  • sensory processing

Cite this