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Neuron DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2013.10.020

Flow of cortical activity underlying a tactile decision in mice.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsGuo, ZV, Li, N, Huber, D, Ophir, E, Gutnisky, D, Ting, JT, Feng, G, Svoboda, K
Date Published2014 Jan 08
KeywordsAction Potentials, Afferent Pathways, Animals, Cerebral Cortex, Conditioning, Operant, Decision Making, Discrimination (Psychology), Female, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Male, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, Motion Perception, Nerve Net, Neurons, Photic Stimulation, Rhodopsin, Touch, Vesicular Inhibitory Amino Acid Transport Proteins, Vibrissae

Perceptual decisions involve distributed cortical activity. Does information flow sequentially from one cortical area to another, or do networks of interconnected areas contribute at the same time? Here we delineate when and how activity in specific areas drives a whisker-based decision in mice. A short-term memory component temporally separated tactile "sensation" and "action" (licking). Using optogenetic inhibition (spatial resolution, 2 mm; temporal resolution, 100 ms), we surveyed the neocortex for regions driving behavior during specific behavioral epochs. Barrel cortex was critical for sensation. During the short-term memory, unilateral inhibition of anterior lateral motor cortex biased responses to the ipsilateral side. Consistently, barrel cortex showed stimulus-specific activity during sensation, whereas motor cortex showed choice-specific preparatory activity and movement-related activity, consistent with roles in motor planning and movement. These results suggest serial information flow from sensory to motor areas during perceptual decision making.


Alternate JournalNeuron
PubMed ID24361077
PubMed Central IDPMC3984938
Grant List / / Howard Hughes Medical Institute / United States