"A new look at gating: selective integration of sensory signals through network dynamics". Valerio Mante (University of Zurich)
Monday, 27 October 2014, 12pm to 1pm
A hallmark of decision-making in primates is contextual sensitivity: a given stimulus can lead to different decisions depending on the context in which it is presented. This kind of flexible decision-making depends critically upon gating and integration of context-appropriate information sources within the brain. We have analyzed neural mechanisms underlying gating and integration in animals trained to perform a context-sensitive decision task. Surprisingly, both relevant and irrelevant sensory signals are present within frontal lobe circuits that form decisions, implying that gating occurs very late in the process. Dynamical systems analysis of the neural data, combined with a recurrent network model, suggest a novel mechanism in which gating and integration are combined in a single dynamical process.