About the Authors

Tatyana Sharpee

To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: sharpee@salk.edu

Affiliation Crick-Jacobs Center for Theoretical Biology and Laboratory of Computational Neurobiology, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California, United States of America

William Bialek

Affiliation Joseph Henry Laboratories of Physics, Lewis–Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, The Princeton Center for Theoretical Physics, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America

Competing Interests

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Author Contributions

Wrote the paper: WB TS. Other: Derived the general equation for optimal decision boundaries: WB TS. Found and analyzed specific solutions for several example probability distributions: WB TS.