We recorded the responses of single neurons in extrastriate area MST while rhesus monkeys discriminated the direction of motion in a set of stochastic visual displays. By varying systematically the strength of a coherent motion signal within the visual display, we were able to measure simultaneously the monkeys' psychophysical thresholds for direction discrimination and the responses of single neurons to the same motion signals. Neuronal thresholds for reliably signaling the direction of motion in the visual display were calculated from the measured responses using a method based in signal detection theory. Neurons in MST were exquisitely sensitive to motion signals in the display, having thresholds for discriminating the direction of coherent motion that were, on average, equal to the psychophysical thresholds of the monkeys. For many MST neurons, the intensity of the response was correlated with the monkey's psychophysical judgements for repeated presentations of a given near-threshold stimulus; the monkey tended to choose the preferred direction of the neuron under study when that neuron responded more strongly to the stimulus. In both of these respects, MST neurons were indistinguishable from neurons in extrastriate area MT, a major source of afferent input to MST. In a second set of experiments, we found that both of these results held true in the face of pronounced manipulations of the visual stimulus. Severe reductions in stimulus size and speed, for example, compromised neuronal and psychophysical sensitivities by similar amounts so that the average neuronal and psychophysical thresholds remained approximately equal. In addition, the trial-to-trial covariation of neuronal response and perceptual decision was unaffected by our stimulus manipulations. Thus, MST neurons carry signals appropriate for supporting psychophysical performance on our task over an impressively wide range of stimulus configurations.