Reward modulates the effect of visual cortical microstimulation on perceptual decisions

  1. Nela Cicmil  Is a corresponding author
  2. Bruce G Cumming
  3. Andrew J Parker
  4. Kristine Krug
  1. University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  2. National Eye Institute, United States

Abstract

Effective perceptual decisions rely upon combining sensory information with knowledge of the rewards available for different choices. However, it is not known where reward signals interact with the multiple stages of the perceptual decision-making pathway and by what mechanisms this may occur. We combined electrical microstimulation of functionally specific groups of neurons in visual area V5/MT with performance-contingent reward manipulation, while monkeys performed a visual discrimination task. Microstimulation was less effective in shifting perceptual choices towards the stimulus preferences of the stimulated neurons when available reward was larger. Psychophysical control experiments showed this result was not explained by a selective change in response strategy on microstimulated trials. A bounded accumulation decision model, applied to analyse behavioural performance, revealed that the interaction of expected reward with microstimulation can be explained if expected reward modulates a sensory representation stage of perceptual decision-making, in addition to the better-known effects at the integration stage.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Nela Cicmil

    Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    For correspondence
    nela.cicmil@dpag.ox.ac.uk
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Bruce G Cumming

    Lab of Sensorimotor Research, National Eye Institute, Bethesda, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Andrew J Parker

    Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Kristine Krug

    Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: Animal experimentation was conducted at two locations: University of Oxford, UK, and National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA. At Oxford, all procedures were approved by the United Kingdom Home Office, and strictly complied with the restrictions and provisions contained in the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act of 1986. At NIH, all procedures strictly complied with US Public Health Service policy on the humane care and use of animals, and the protocol was approved by the National Eye Institute (NEI) Animal Care and Use Committee (protocol #NEI-567). Every effort was made to minimise potential sources of pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm to the animals involved in the study.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Matteo Carandini, University College London, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: April 17, 2015
  2. Accepted: September 23, 2015
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 24, 2015 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: October 23, 2015 (version 2)

Copyright

This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

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  1. Nela Cicmil
  2. Bruce G Cumming
  3. Andrew J Parker
  4. Kristine Krug
(2015)
Reward modulates the effect of visual cortical microstimulation on perceptual decisions
eLife 4:e07832.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07832

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