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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