Article | Published:

Functional dissection of signal and noise in MT and LIP during decision-making

Nature Neuroscience volume 20, pages 12851292 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

During perceptual decision-making, responses in the middle temporal (MT) and lateral intraparietal (LIP) areas appear to map onto theoretically defined quantities, with MT representing instantaneous motion evidence and LIP reflecting the accumulated evidence. However, several aspects of the transformation between the two areas have not been empirically tested. We therefore performed multistage systems identification analyses of the simultaneous activity of MT and LIP during individual decisions. We found that monkeys based their choices on evidence presented in early epochs of the motion stimulus and that substantial early weighting of motion was present in MT responses. LIP responses recapitulated MT early weighting and contained a choice-dependent buildup that was distinguishable from motion integration. Furthermore, trial-by-trial variability in LIP did not depend on MT activity. These results identify important deviations from idealizations of MT and LIP and motivate inquiry into sensorimotor computations that may intervene between MT and LIP.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellowship to L.N.K., a McKnight Foundation grant to J.W.P., a National Eye Institute (R01-EY017366) grant to both J.W.P. and A.C.H., and National Institutes of Health under Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards T32DA018926 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and T32EY021462 from the National Eye Institute.

Author information

Author notes

    • Jacob L Yates

    Present address: Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA.

Affiliations

  1. Department of Neuroscience, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA.

    • Jacob L Yates
    • , Leor N Katz
    •  & Alexander C Huk
  2. Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA.

    • Jacob L Yates
    • , Leor N Katz
    •  & Alexander C Huk
  3. Center for Perceptual Systems, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA.

    • Jacob L Yates
    • , Leor N Katz
    •  & Alexander C Huk
  4. Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA.

    • Jacob L Yates
  5. Brain and Cognitive Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA.

    • Jacob L Yates
  6. Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA.

    • Il Memming Park
  7. Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

    • Leor N Katz
  8. Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

    • Jonathan W Pillow
  9. Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

    • Jonathan W Pillow

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Contributions

J.L.Y., A.C.H. and J.W.P. designed the experiments; J.L.Y. and L.N.K. collected the data; J.L.Y. analyzed the data. J.L.Y., I.M.P., L.N.K., J.W.P. and A.C.H. wrote the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jacob L Yates.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4611

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