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A cerebellar role in evidence-guided decision-making

By Ben Deverett, Sue Ann Koay, Marlies Oostland, Samuel S.-H. Wang

Posted 11 Jun 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/343095

To make successful evidence-based decisions, the brain must rapidly and accurately transform sensory inputs into specific goal-directed behaviors. Most experimental work on this subject has focused on forebrain mechanisms. Here we show that during perceptual decision-making over a period of seconds, decision-, sensory-, and error-related information converge on the lateral posterior cerebellum in crus I, a structure that communicates bidirectionally with numerous forebrain regions. We trained mice on a novel evidence-accumulation task and demonstrated that cerebellar inactivation reduces behavioral accuracy without impairing motor parameters of action. Using two-photon calcium imaging, we found that Purkinje cell somatic activity encoded choice- and evidence-related variables. Decision errors were represented by dendritic calcium spikes, which are known to drive plasticity. We propose that cerebellar circuitry may contribute to the set of distributed computations in the brain that support accurate perceptual decision-making.

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