Invited talk: Prof. Alfonso RENART, Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Lisbon, Portugal

2015-10-08 at 11:30

Conference room, UCL R+0, 13 rue Moreau, 75012 Paris


The accuracy of auditory discriminations and its neural correlates.

The study of the relationship between neural activity and behaviour over the last two decades has relied strongly on perceptual decision-making tasks, in which subjects make binary choices about the nature of a stimulus feature. To the extent that one can isolate the relevant computations and brain structures underlying performance in such tasks, they offer a unique opportunity to provide strong links between the activity of local circuits and behaviour. Although historically it was assumed that sensory uncertainty would limit performance in a sensory discrimination task, it has recently become apparent that this is not necessarily the case. I will discuss an auditory lateralization task for freely moving rats developed in our lab in which, by probing different sources of uncertainty, we find that performance is almost exclusively limited by uncertainty about the nature of the sensory stimulus, making this task appropriate for studying the relationship between neural activity and perception. I will also present results on the accuracy with which information about the stimulus can be decoded using large populations of simultaneously recorded neurons in the rat auditory cortex across different brain states under Urethane anaesthesia, and how it compares to the accuracy of behaving rats.