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16:00 - 17:00 24 September 2013

Linking circuits to behaviour in decision making


Lecture Theatre 2 | Cruciform Building
Gower Street | London | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Student

Speaker: Anne Churchland, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York. Host: Matteo Carandini, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. Abstract: A defining feature of higher cognitive function is the ability to integrate multiple sources of information to guide decision-making. To study the underlying circuits and computations we developed a decision task for humans and rats, based on combinations of vision and hearing. Rats had excellent performance in this task, comparable to humans. We used this task to probe the function of the rat’s posterior parietal cortex (PPC). Inactivating PPC impaired behavior on trials requiring visual information. PPC neurons were driven by stimulus attributes, stimulus modality, the animal’s decision, and the passage of time. Finally, optogenetic stimulation of the visual inputs to PPC increased the proportion of contralateral decisions. These observations implicate PPC in sensory decisions, and reveal how PPC neurons encode complex sensory inputs.


Cynthia Wilson
Please email | cynthia.wilson@ucl.ac.uk