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Neuron. 2015 Jul 1;87(1):208-19. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.06.018.

A Modality-Specific Feedforward Component of Choice-Related Activity in MT.

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Harvard PhD Program in Neuroscience, 220 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, 220 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:
Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester, 358 Meliora Hall, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.
Brain and Mind Institute, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5C2, Canada.
Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, 220 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Electronic address:


The activity of individual sensory neurons can be predictive of an animal's choices. These decision signals arise from network properties dependent on feedforward and feedback inputs; however, the relative contributions of these inputs are poorly understood. We determined the role of feedforward pathways to decision signals in MT by recording neuronal activity while monkeys performed motion and depth tasks. During each session, we reversibly inactivated V2 and V3, which provide feedforward input to MT that conveys more information about depth than motion. We thus monitored the choice-related activity of the same neuron both before and during V2/V3 inactivation. During inactivation, MT neurons became less predictive of decisions for the depth task but not the motion task, indicating that a feedforward pathway that gives rise to tuning preferences also contributes to decision signals. We show that our data are consistent with V2/V3 input conferring structured noise correlations onto the MT population.

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