Cerebellar involvement in an evidence-accumulation decision-making task
  • Authors: Ben Deverett, Sue Ann Koay, Marlies Oostland,  Samuel S-H Wang

Publication: e LIFE, 2018

To make successful evidence-based decisions, the brain must rapidly and accurately transform sensory inputs into specific goal-directed behaviors. Most experimental work on this subject has focused on forebrain mechanisms. Using a novel evidence-accumulation task for mice, we performed recording and perturbation studies of crus I of the lateral posterior cerebellum, which communicates bidirectionally with numerous forebrain regions. Cerebellar inactivation led to a reduction in the fraction of correct trials. Using two-photon fluorescence imaging of calcium, we found that Purkinje cell somatic activity contained choice/evidence-related information. Decision errors were represented by dendritic calcium spikes, which in other contexts are known to drive cerebellar plasticity. We propose that cerebellar circuitry may contribute to computations that support accurate performance in this perceptual decision-making task.

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Brigitte Stark
An Accumulation-of-Evidence Task Using Visual Pulses for Mice Navigating in Virtual Reality
  • Authors: Lucas Pinto, Sue A. Koay, Ben Engelhard, Alice M. Yoon, Ben Deverett, Stephan Y. Thiberge, Ilana B. Witten, David W. Tank, and Carlos D. Brody

Publication: frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2018

The gradual accumulation of sensory evidence is a crucial component of perceptual decision making, but its neural mechanisms are still poorly understood. Given the wide availability of genetic and optical tools for mice, they can be useful model organisms for the study of these phenomena; however, behavioral tools are largely lacking. Here, we describe a new evidence-accumulation task for head-fixed mice navigating in a virtual reality (VR) environment. As they navigate down the stem of a virtual T-maze, they see brief pulses of visual evidence on either side, and retrieve a reward on the arm with the highest number of pulses.

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Faction Studio Team