Stimulus-dependent relationships between behavioral choice and sensory neural responses

  1. Daniel Chicharro  Is a corresponding author
  2. Stefano Panzeri
  3. Ralf M Haefner  Is a corresponding author
  1. Italian Institute of Technology, Italy
  2. University of Rochester, United States

Abstract

Understanding perceptual decision-making requires linking sensory neural responses to behavioral choices. In two-choice tasks, activity-choice covariations are commonly quantified with a single measure of choice probability (CP), without characterizing their changes across stimulus levels. We provide theoretical conditions for stimulus dependencies of activity-choice covariations. Assuming a general decision-threshold model, which comprises both feedforward and feedback processing and allows for a stimulus-modulated neural population covariance, we analytically predict a very general and previously unreported stimulus dependence of CPs. We develop new tools, including refined analyses of CPs and generalized linear models with stimulus-choice interactions, which accurately assess the stimulus- or choice-driven signals of each neuron, characterizing stimulus-dependent patterns of choice-related signals. With these tools, we analyze CPs of macaque MT neurons during a motion discrimination task. Our analysis provides preliminary empirical evidence for the promise of studying stimulus dependencies of choice-related signals, encouraging further assessment in wider data sets.

Data availability

No data was collected as part of this study.

The following previously published data sets were used

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Daniel Chicharro

    Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, Italian Institute of Technology, Rovereto, Italy
    For correspondence
    daniel.chicharro@iit.it
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Stefano Panzeri

    Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, Italian Institute of Technology, Rovereto, Italy
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-1700-8909
  3. Ralf M Haefner

    Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, United States
    For correspondence
    ralf.haefner@rochester.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-5031-0379

Funding

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (R01 NS108410)

  • Stefano Panzeri

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (U19 NS107464)

  • Stefano Panzeri

National Eye Institute (R01 EY028811)

  • Ralf M Haefner

Fondation Bertarelli

  • Daniel Chicharro

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (U19 NS118246)

  • Ralf M Haefner

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

Reviewing Editor

  1. Kristine Krug, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: January 2, 2020
  2. Accepted: April 6, 2021
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 7, 2021 (version 1)
  4. Accepted Manuscript updated: April 9, 2021 (version 2)
  5. Version of Record published: June 7, 2021 (version 3)
  6. Version of Record updated: June 15, 2021 (version 4)

Copyright

© 2021, Chicharro 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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  1. Daniel Chicharro
  2. Stefano Panzeri
  3. Ralf M Haefner
(2021)
Stimulus-dependent relationships between behavioral choice and sensory neural responses
eLife 10:e54858.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.54858

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