1. Neuroscience
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Mesencephalic representations of recent experience influence decision making

  1. John A Thompson  Is a corresponding author
  2. Jamie D Costabile
  3. Gidon Felsen
  1. University of Colorado School of Medicine, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 9
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e16572 doi: 10.7554/eLife.16572

Abstract

Decisions are influenced by recent experience, but the neural basis for this phenomenon is not well understood. Here we address this question in the context of action selection. We focused on activity in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg), a mesencephalic region that provides input to several nuclei in the action selection network, in well-trained mice selecting actions based on sensory cues and recent trial history. We found that, at the time of action selection, the activity of many PPTg neurons reflected the action on the previous trial and its outcome, and the strength of this activity predicted the upcoming choice. Further, inactivating the PPTg predictably decreased the influence of recent experience on action selection. These findings suggest that PPTg input to downstream motor regions, where it can be integrated with other relevant information, provides a simple mechanism for incorporating recent experience into the computations underlying action selection.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. John A Thompson

    Department of Neurosurgery, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, United States
    For correspondence
    john.a.thompson@ucdenver.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-2991-5194
  2. Jamie D Costabile

    Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Gidon Felsen

    Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0745-8279

Funding

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

  • Gidon Felsen

Boettcher Foundation

  • Gidon Felsen

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (P30NS048154)

  • Gidon Felsen

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All experiments were performed according to protocols approved by the University of Colorado School of Medicine Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (protocol #: B-90215(11)1D).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Joshua I Gold, University of Pennsylvania, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: March 31, 2016
  2. Accepted: July 23, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: July 25, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: August 16, 2016 (version 2)
  5. Version of Record updated: August 22, 2016 (version 3)

Copyright

© 2016, Thompson et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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