The computations and neural processes underpinning decision making have primarily been investigated using highly simplified tasks in which stimulus onsets cue observers to start accumulating choice-relevant information. Yet, in daily life we are rarely afforded the luxury of knowing precisely when choice-relevant information will appear. Here, we examined neural indices of decision formation while subjects discriminated subtle stimulus feature changes whose timing relative to stimulus onset ('foreperiod') was uncertain. Joint analysis of behavioural error patterns and neural decision signal dynamics indicated that subjects systematically began the accumulation process before any informative evidence was presented, and further, that accumulation onset timing varied systematically as a function of the foreperiod of the preceding trial. These results suggest that the brain can adjust to temporal uncertainty by strategically modulating accumulation onset timing according to statistical regularities in the temporal structure of the sensory environment with particular emphasis on recent experience.
Data is available on dryad at https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b2rbnzs8r and Github https://github.com/CiaraDevine/Temporal_Uncertainty_DevineCA_2019
The Role of Premature Evidence Accumulation in Making Difficult Perceptual Decisions under Temporal UncertaintyDryad Digital Repository, doi:10.5061/dryad.b2rbnzs8r.
- Ciara A Devine
- Redmond G O'Connell
- Redmond G O'Connell
- Simon P Kelly
- Redmond G O'Connell
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: Written, informed consent was obtained from all subjects prior to taking part in this study and all procedures were approved by the Trinity College Dublin ethics committee (SPREC112014-01) and conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.
- Marios Philiastides, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
© 2019, Devine 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.
The lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), a retinotopic relay center where visual inputs from the retina are processed and relayed to the visual cortex, has been proposed as a potential target for artificial vision. At present, it is unknown whether optogenetic LGN stimulation is sufficient to elicit behaviorally relevant percepts, and the properties of LGN neural responses relevant for artificial vision have not been thoroughly characterized. Here, we demonstrate that tree shrews pretrained on a visual detection task can detect optogenetic LGN activation using an AAV2-CamKIIα-ChR2 construct and readily generalize from visual to optogenetic detection. Simultaneous recordings of LGN spiking activity and primary visual cortex (V1) local field potentials (LFP) during optogenetic LGN stimulation show that LGN neurons reliably follow optogenetic stimulation at frequencies up to 60 Hz, and uncovered a striking phase locking between the V1 local field potential (LFP) and the evoked spiking activity in LGN. These phase relationships were maintained over a broad range of LGN stimulation frequencies, up to 80 Hz, with spike field coherence values favoring higher frequencies, indicating the ability to relay temporally precise information to V1 using light activation of the LGN. Finally, V1 LFP responses showed sensitivity values to LGN optogenetic activation that were similar to the animal's behavioral performance. Taken together, our findings confirm the LGN as a potential target for visual prosthetics in a highly visual mammal closely related to primates.
Hippocampal place cell sequences have been hypothesized to serve as diverse purposes as the induction of synaptic plasticity, formation and consolidation of long-term memories, or navigation and planning. During spatial behaviors of rodents, sequential firing of place cells at the theta timescale (known as theta sequences) encodes running trajectories, which can be considered as one-dimensional behavioral sequences of traversed locations. In a two-dimensional space, however, each single location can be visited along arbitrary one-dimensional running trajectories. Thus, a place cell will generally take part in multiple different theta sequences, raising questions about how this two-dimensional topology can be reconciled with the idea of hippocampal sequences underlying memory of (one-dimensional) episodes. Here, we propose a computational model of cornu ammonis 3 (CA3) and dentate gyrus (DG), where sensorimotor input drives the direction-dependent (extrinsic) theta sequences within CA3 reflecting the two-dimensional spatial topology, whereas the intrahippocampal CA3-DG projections concurrently produce intrinsic sequences that are independent of the specific running trajectory. Consistent with experimental data, intrinsic theta sequences are less prominent, but can nevertheless be detected during theta activity, thereby serving as running-direction independent landmark cues. We hypothesize that the intrinsic sequences largely reflect replay and preplay activity during non-theta states.