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Cortical State Fluctuations during Sensory Decision Making

Jacobs, EAK; Steinmetz, NA; Peters, AJ; Carandini, M; Harris, KD; (2020) Cortical State Fluctuations during Sensory Decision Making. Current Biology , 30 (24) 4944-4955.e7. 10.1016/j.cub.2020.09.067. Green open access

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Abstract

In many behavioral tasks, cortex enters a desynchronized state where low-frequency fluctuations in population activity are suppressed. The precise behavioral correlates of desynchronization and its global organization are unclear. One hypothesis holds that desynchronization enhances stimulus coding in the relevant sensory cortex. Another hypothesis holds that desynchronization reflects global arousal, such as task engagement. Here, we trained mice on tasks where task engagement could be distinguished from sensory accuracy. Using widefield calcium imaging, we found that performance-related desynchronization was global and correlated better with engagement than with accuracy. Consistent with this link between desynchronization and engagement, rewards had a long-lasting desynchronizing effect. To determine whether engagement-related state changes depended on the relevant sensory modality, we trained mice on visual and auditory tasks and found that in both cases desynchronization was global, including regions such as somatomotor cortex. We conclude that variations in low-frequency fluctuations are predominately global and related to task engagement.

Type: Article
Title: Cortical State Fluctuations during Sensory Decision Making
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.09.067
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.09.067
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: cortical states, widefield imaging, sensory processing, decision making
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10124253
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