EyeLink Non-Human Primate Publications
All EyeLink non-human primate research publications up until 2022 (with some early 2023s) are listed below by year. You can search the publications using keywords such as Temporal Cortex, Macaque, Antisaccade, etc. You can also search for individual author names. If we missed any EyeLink non-human primate articles, please email us!
Michael R. Traner; Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin; Ilya E. Monosov
How the value of the environment controls persistence in visual search Book
Classic foraging theory predicts that humans and animals aim to gain maximum reward per unit time. However, in standard instrumental conditioning tasks individuals adopt an apparently suboptimal strategy: they respond slowly when the expected value is low. This reward-related bias is often explained as reduced motivation in response to low rewards. Here we present evidence this behavior is associated with a complementary increased motivation to search the environment for alternatives. We trained monkeys to search for reward-related visual targets in environments with different values. We found that the reward-related bias scaled with environment value, was consistent with persistent searching after the target was already found, and was associated with increased exploratory gaze to objects in the environment. A novel computational model of foraging suggests that this search strategy could be adaptive in naturalistic settings where both environments and the objects within them provide partial information about hidden, uncertain rewards.
Akash Umakantha; Rudina Morina; Benjamin R. Cowley; Adam C. Snyder; Matthew A. Smith; Byron M. Yu
Bridging neuronal correlations and dimensionality reduction Journal Article
In: Neuron, vol. 109, no. 17, pp. 2740–2754.e12, 2021.
Two commonly used approaches to study interactions among neurons are spike count correlation, which describes pairs of neurons, and dimensionality reduction, applied to a population of neurons. Although both approaches have been used to study trial-to-trial neuronal variability correlated among neurons, they are often used in isolation and have not been directly related. We first established concrete mathematical and empirical relationships between pairwise correlation and metrics of population-wide covariability based on dimensionality reduction. Applying these insights to macaque V4 population recordings, we found that the previously reported decrease in mean pairwise correlation associated with attention stemmed from three distinct changes in population-wide covariability. Overall, our work builds the intuition and formalism to bridge between pairwise correlation and population-wide covariability and presents a cautionary tale about the inferences one can make about population activity by using a single statistic, whether it be mean pairwise correlation or dimensionality.
Mengxi Yun; Masafumi Nejime; Masayuki Matsumoto
Single-unit recording in awake behaving non-human primates Journal Article
In: Bio-protocol, vol. 11, no. 8, pp. 1–16, 2021.
Non-human primates (NHPs) have been widely used as a species model in studies to understand higher brain functions in health and disease. These studies employ specifically designed behavioral tasks in which animal behavior is well-controlled, and record neuronal activity at high spatial and temporal resolutions while animals are performing the tasks. Here, we present a detailed procedure to conduct single-unit recording, which fulfils high spatial and temporal resolutions while macaque monkeys (i.e., widely used NHPs) perform behavioral tasks in a well-controlled manner. This procedure was used in our previous study to investigate the dynamics of neuronal activity during economic decision-making by the monkeys. Monkeys' behavior was quantitated by eye position tracking and button press/release detection. By inserting a microelectrode into the brain, with a grid system in reference to magnetic resonance imaging, we precisely recorded the brain regions. Our experimental system permits rigorous investigation of the link between neuronal activity and behavior.
Beizhen Zhang; Janis Ying Ying Kan; Mingpo Yang; Xiaochun Wang; Jiahao Tu; Michael Christopher Dorris
Transforming absolute value to categorical choice in primate superior colliculus during value-based decision making Journal Article
In: Nature Communications, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 3410, 2021.
Value-based decision making involves choosing from multiple options with different values. Despite extensive studies on value representation in various brain regions, the neural mechanism for how multiple value options are converted to motor actions remains unclear. To study this, we developed a multi-value foraging task with varying menu of items in non-human primates using eye movements that dissociates value and choice, and conducted electrophysiological recording in the midbrain superior colliculus (SC). SC neurons encoded “absolute” value, independent of available options, during late fixation. In addition, SC neurons also represent value threshold, modulated by available options, different from conventional motor threshold. Electrical stimulation of SC neurons biased choices in a manner predicted by the difference between the value representation and the value threshold. These results reveal a neural mechanism directly transforming absolute values to categorical choices within SC, supporting highly efficient value-based decision making critical for real-world economic behaviors.
Yang Zhou; Matthew C. Rosen; Sruthi K. Swaminathan; Nicolas Y. Masse; Ou Zhu; David J. Freedman
Distributed functions of prefrontal and parietal cortices during sequential categorical decisions Journal Article
In: eLife, vol. 10, pp. 1–30, 2021.
Comparing sequential stimuli is crucial for guiding complex behaviors. To understand mechanisms underlying sequential decisions, we compared neuronal responses in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the lateral intraparietal (LIP), and medial intraparietal (MIP) areas in monkeys trained to decide whether sequentially presented stimuli were from matching (M) or nonmatching (NM) categories. We found that PFC leads M/NM decisions, whereas LIP and MIP appear more involved in stimulus evaluation and motor planning, respectively. Compared to LIP, PFC showed greater nonlinear integration of currently visible and remembered stimuli, which correlated with the monkeys' M/NM decisions. Furthermore, multi-module recurrent networks trained on the same task exhibited key features of PFC and LIP encoding, including nonlinear integration in the PFC-like module, which was causally involved in the networks' decisions. Network analysis found that nonlinear units have stronger and more widespread connections with input, output, and within-area units, indicating putative circuit-level mechanisms for sequential decisions.
Taekjun Kim; Wyeth Bair; Anitha Pasupathy
Perceptual texture dimensions modulate neuronal response dynamics in visual cortical area V4 Journal Article
In: Journal of Neuroscience, pp. 1–51, 2021.
Texture is an important visual attribute for surface pattern discrimination and therefore object segmentation, but the neural bases of texture perception are largely unknown. Previously, we demonstrated that the responses of V4 neurons to naturalistic texture patches are sensitive to four key features of human texture perception: coarseness, directionality, regularity, and contrast. To begin to understand how distinct texture perception emerges from the dynamics of neuronal responses, in 2 macaque monkeys (1 male, 1 female), we investigated the relative contribution of the four texture attributes to V4 responses in terms of the strength and timing of response modulation. We found that the different feature dimensions are associated with different temporal dynamics. Specifically, the response modulation associated with directionality and regularity was significantly delayed relative to that associated with coarseness and contrast, suggesting that the latter are fundamentally simpler feature dimensions. The population of texture-selective neurons could be grouped into multiple clusters based on the combination of feature dimensions encoded, and those subpopulations displayed distinct temporal dynamics characterized by the weighted combinations of multiple features. Finally, we applied a population decoding approach to demonstrate that texture category information can be obtained from short temporal windows across time. These results demonstrate that the representation of different perceptually relevant texture features emerge over time in the responses of V4 neurons. The observed temporal organization provides a framework to interpret how the processing of surface features unfolds in early and midlevel cortical stages, and could ultimately inform the interpretation of perceptual texture dynamics.Significance Statement:To delineate how neuronal responses underlie our ability to perceive visual textures, we related four key perceptual dimensions (coarseness, directionality, regularity, and contrast) of naturalistic textures to the strength and timing of modulation of neuronal responses in area V4, an intermediate stage in the form-processing, ventral visual pathway. Our results provide the first characterization of V4 temporal dynamics for texture encoding along perceptually defined axes.
Eric B. Knudsen; Joni D. Wallis
Hippocampal neurons construct a map of an abstract value space Journal Article
In: Cell, vol. 184, no. 18, pp. 4640–4650, 2021.
The hippocampus is thought to encode a “cognitive map,” a structural organization of knowledge about relationships in the world. Place cells, spatially selective hippocampal neurons that have been extensively studied in rodents, are one component of this map, describing the relative position of environmental features. However, whether this map extends to abstract, cognitive information remains unknown. Using the relative reward value of cues to define continuous “paths” through an abstract value space, we show that single neurons in primate hippocampus encode this space through value place fields, much like a rodent's place neurons encode paths through physical space. Value place fields remapped when cues changed but also became increasingly correlated across contexts, allowing maps to become generalized. Our findings help explain the critical contribution of the hippocampus to value-based decision-making, providing a mechanism by which knowledge of relationships in the world can be incorporated into reward predictions for guiding decisions.
Kenji W. Koyano; Adam P. Jones; David B. T. McMahon; Elena N. Waidmann; Brian E. Russ; David A. Leopold
Dynamic suppression of average facial structure shapes neural tuning in three macaque face patches Journal Article
In: Current Biology, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 1–12, 2021.
The visual perception of identity in humans and other primates is thought to draw upon cortical areas specialized for the analysis of facial structure. A prominent theory of face recognition holds that the brain computes and stores average facial structure, which it then uses to efficiently determine individual identity, though the neural mechanisms underlying this process are controversial. Here, we demonstrate that the dynamic suppression of average facial structure plays a prominent role in the responses of neurons in three fMRI-defined face patches of the macaque. Using photorealistic face stimuli that systematically varied in identity level according to a psychophysically based face space, we found that single units in the AF, AM, and ML face patches exhibited robust tuning around average facial structure. This tuning emerged after the initial excitatory response to the face and was expressed as the selective suppression of sustained responses to low-identity faces. The coincidence of this suppression with increased spike timing synchrony across the population suggests a mechanism of active inhibition underlying this effect. Control experiments confirmed that the diminished responses to low-identity faces were not due to short-term adaptation processes. We propose that the brain's neural suppression of average facial structure facilitates recognition by promoting the extraction of distinctive facial characteristics and suppressing redundant or irrelevant responses across the population.
Aravind Krishna; Seiji Tanabe; Adam Kohn
Decision signals in the local field potentials of early and mid-level macaque visual cortex Journal Article
In: Cerebral Cortex, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 169–183, 2021.
The neural basis of perceptual decision making has typically been studied using measurements of single neuron activity, though decisions are likely based on the activity of large neuronal ensembles. Local field potentials (LFPs) may, in some cases, serve as a useful proxy for population activity and thus be useful for understanding the neural basis of perceptual decision making. However, little is known about whether LFPs in sensory areas include decision-related signals. We therefore analyzed LFPs recorded using two 48-electrode arrays implanted in primary visual cortex (V1) and area V4 of macaque monkeys trained to perform a fine orientation discrimination task. We found significant choice information in low (0-30 Hz) and higher (70-500 Hz) frequency components of the LFP, but little information in gamma frequencies (30-70 Hz). Choice information was more robust in V4 than V1 and stronger in LFPs than in simultaneously measured spiking activity. LFP-based choice information included a global component, common across electrodes within an area. Our findings reveal the presence of robust choice-related signals in the LFPs recorded in V1 and V4 and suggest that LFPs may be a useful complement to spike-based analyses of decision making.
Heng Ma; Pengcheng Li; Jiaming Hu; Xingya Cai; Qianling Song; Haidong D. Lu
Processing of motion-boundary orientation in macaque V2 Journal Article
In: eLife, vol. 10, pp. e61317, 2021.
Human and non-human primates are good at identifying an object based on its motion, a task that is believed to be carried out by the ventral visual pathway. However, the neural mechanisms underlying such ability remains unclear. We trained macaque monkeys to do orientation discrimination for motion-boundaries (MB) and recorded neuronal response in area V2 with microelectrode arrays. We found 10.9% of V2 neurons exhibited robust orientation-selectivity to MBs, and their responses correlated with monkeys' orientation-discrimination performances. Furthermore, the responses of V2 direction-selective neurons recorded at the same time showed correlated activity with MB neurons for particular MB stimuli, suggesting that these motion-sensitive neurons made specific functional contributions to MB discrimination tasks. Our findings support the view that V2 plays a critical role in MB analysis and may achieve this through a neural circuit within area V2.
David J. N. Maisson; Tyler V. Cash-Padgett; Maya Z. Wang; Benjamin Y. Hayden; Sarah R. Heilbronner; Jan Zimmermann
Choice-relevant information transformation along a ventrodorsal axis in the medial prefrontal cortex Journal Article
In: Nature Communications, vol. 12, pp. 4830, 2021.
Choice-relevant brain regions in prefrontal cortex may progressively transform information about options into choices. Here, we examine responses of neurons in four regions of the medial prefrontal cortex as macaques performed two-option risky choices. All four regions encode economic variables in similar proportions and show similar putative signatures of key choice-related computations. We provide evidence to support a gradient of function that proceeds from areas 14 to 25 to 32 to 24. Specifically, we show that decodability of twelve distinct task variables increases along that path, consistent with the idea that regions that are higher in the anatomical hierarchy make choice-relevant variables more separable. We also show progressively longer intrinsic timescales in the same series. Together these results highlight the importance of the medial wall in choice, endorse a specific gradient-based organization, and argue against a modular functional neuroanatomy of choice.
Tatiana Malevich; Antimo Buonocore; Ziad M. Hafed
Dependence of the stimulus-driven microsaccade rate signature in rhesus macaque monkeys on visual stimulus size and polarity Journal Article
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 125, no. 1, pp. 282–295, 2021.
Microsaccades have a steady rate of occurrence during maintained gaze fixation, which gets transiently modulated by abrupt sensory stimuli. Such modulation, characterized by a rapid reduction in microsaccade frequency followed by a stronger rebound phase of high microsaccade rate, is often described as the microsaccadic rate signature, owing to its stereotyped nature. Here, we investigated the impacts of stimulus polarity (luminance increments or luminance decrements relative to background luminance) and size on the microsaccadic rate signature. We presented brief, behaviorally irrelevant visual flashes consisting of large or small, white or black stimuli over an otherwise gray image background. Both large and small stimuli caused robust early microsaccadic inhibition, but postinhibition microsaccade rate rebound was significantly delayed and weakened for large stimuli when compared with small ones. Critically, small black stimuli were associated with stronger modulations in the microsaccade rate signature than small white stimuli, particularly in the postinhibition rebound phase, and black stimuli also amplified the incidence of early stimulus-directed microsaccades. Our results demonstrate that the microsaccadic rate signature is sensitive to stimulus size and polarity, and they point to dissociable neural mechanisms underlying early microsaccadic inhibition after stimulus onset and later microsaccadic rate rebound at longer times thereafter. These results also demonstrate early access of oculomotor control circuitry to diverse sensory representations, particularly for momentarily inhibiting saccade generation with short latencies. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Microsaccade rate is transiently reduced after sudden stimulus onsets, and then strongly rebounds before returning to baseline. We explored the influence of stimulus polarity (black vs. white) and size on this “rate signature.” Large stimuli caused more muted microsaccadic rebound than small ones, and microsaccadic rebound was also differentially affected by black versus white stimuli, particularly with small stimuli. These results suggest dissociated neural mechanisms for microsaccadic inhibition and rebound in the microsaccadic rate signature.
Nicolas Meirhaeghe; Hansem Sohn; Mehrdad Jazayeri
A precise and adaptive neural mechanism for predictive temporal processing in the frontal cortex Journal Article
In: Neuron, vol. 109, no. 18, pp. 2995–3011.e5, 2021.
The theory of predictive processing posits that the brain computes expectations to process information predictively. Empirical evidence in support of this theory, however, is scarce and largely limited to sensory areas. Here, we report a precise and adaptive mechanism in the frontal cortex of non-human primates consistent with predictive processing of temporal events. We found that the speed of neural dynamics is precisely adjusted according to the average time of an expected stimulus. This speed adjustment, in turn, enables neurons to encode stimuli in terms of deviations from expectation. This lawful relationship was evident across multiple experiments and held true during learning: when temporal statistics underwent covert changes, neural responses underwent predictable changes that reflected the new mean. Together, these results highlight a precise mathematical relationship between temporal statistics in the environment and neural activity in the frontal cortex that may serve as a mechanism for predictive temporal processing.
Lara Merken; Marco Davare; Peter Janssen; Maria C. Romero
Behavioral effects of continuous theta-burst stimulation in macaque parietal cortex Journal Article
In: Scientific Reports, vol. 11, pp. 4511, 2021.
The neural mechanisms underlying the effects of continuous Theta-Burst Stimulation (cTBS) in humans are poorly understood. Animal studies can clarify the effects of cTBS on individual neurons, but behavioral evidence is necessary to demonstrate the validity of the animal model. We investigated the behavioral effect of cTBS applied over parietal cortex in rhesus monkeys performing a visually-guided grasping task with two differently sized objects, which required either a power grip or a pad-to-side grip. We used Fitts' law, predicting shorter grasping times (GT) for large compared to small objects, to investigate cTBS effects on two different grip types. cTBS induced long-lasting object-specific and dose-dependent changes in GT that remained present for up to two hours. High-intensity cTBS increased GTs for a power grip, but shortened GTs for a pad-to-side grip. Thus, high-intensity stimulation strongly reduced the natural GT difference between objects (i.e. the Fitts' law effect). In contrast, low-intensity cTBS induced the opposite effects on GT. Modifying the coil orientation from the standard 45-degree to a 30-degree angle induced opposite cTBS effects on GT. These findings represent behavioral evidence for the validity of the nonhuman primate model to study the neural underpinnings of non-invasive brain stimulation.
Yaser Merrikhi; Mohammad Shams-Ahmar; Hamid Karimi-Rouzbahani; Kelsey Clark; Reza Ebrahimpour; Behrad Noudoost
Dissociable contribution of extrastriate responses to representational enhancement of gaze targets Journal Article
In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, vol. 33, no. 10, pp. 2167–2180, 2021.
Before saccadic eyemovements, our perception of the saccade targets is enhanced. Changes in the visual representation of saccade targets, which presumably underlie this perceptual benefit, emerge even before the eye begins to move. This perisaccadic enhancement has been shown to involve changes in the response magnitude, selectivity, and reliability of visual neurons. In this study, we quantified multiple aspects of perisaccadic changes in the neural response, including gain, feature tuning, contrast response function, reliability, and correlated activity between neurons. Wethen assessed the contributions of these various perisaccadic modulations to the population's enhanced perisaccadic representation of saccade targets. We found a partial dissociation between the motor information, carried entirely by gain changes, and visual information,which depended on all three types ofmodulation. These findings expand our understanding of the perisaccadic enhancement of visual representations and further support the existence of multiple sources of motor modulation and visual enhancement within extrastriate visual cortex.
Nardin Nakhla; Yavar Korkian; Matthew R. Krause; Christopher C. Pack
Neural selectivity for visual motion in macaque area v3a Journal Article
In: eNeuro, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 1–14, 2021.
The processing of visual motion is conducted by dedicated pathways in the primate brain. These pathways originate with populations of direction-selective neurons in the primary visual cortex, which projects to dorsal structures like the middle temporal (MT) and medial superior temporal (MST) areas. Anatomical and imaging studies have suggested that area V3A might also be specialized for motion processing, but there have been very few studies of single-neuron direction selectivity in this area. We have therefore performed electrophysiological recordings from V3A neurons in two macaque monkeys (one male and one female) and measured responses to a large battery of motion stimuli that includes translation motion, as well as more complex optic flow patterns. For comparison, we simultaneously recorded the responses of MT neurons to the same stimuli. Surprisingly, we find that overall levels of direction selectivity are similar in V3A and MT and moreover that the population of V3A neurons exhibits somewhat greater selectivity for optic flow patterns. These results suggest that V3A should be considered as part of the motion processing machinery of the visual cortex, in both human and non-human primates.
Tomoyuki Namima; Anitha Pasupathy
Encoding of partially occluded and occluding objects in primate inferior temporal cortex Journal Article
In: Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 41, no. 26, pp. 5662–5666, 2021.
Object segmentation-the process of parsing visual scenes-is essential for object recognition and scene understanding. We investigated how responses of neurons in macaque inferior temporal (IT) cortex contribute to object segmentation under partial occlusion. Specifically, we asked whether IT responses to occluding and occluded objects are bound together as in the visual image or linearly separable reflecting their segmentation. We recorded the activity of 121 IT neurons while two male animals performed a shape discrimination task under partial occlusion. We found that for a majority (60%) of neurons, responses were enhanced by partial occlusion, but they were only weakly shape selective for the discriminanda at all levels of occlusion. Enhancement of IT responses in these neurons depended largely on the area of occlusion but only minimally on the color and shape of the occluding dots. In contrast to the above group of neurons, a sizable minority responded best to the unoccluded stimulus and showed strong selectivity for the shape of the discriminanda. In these neurons, response magnitude and shape selectivity declined with increasing levels of occlusion. Simulations revealed that the response characteristics of both classes of neurons were consistent with a model in which the responses to the occluded shape and the occluders are weighted separately and linearly combined. Overall, our results support the hypothesis that information about occluded and occluding stimuli are linearly separable and easily decodable from IT responses and that IT neurons encode a segmented representation of the visual scene.
Sunny Nigam; Sorin Pojoga; Valentin Dragoi
A distinct population of heterogeneously color-tuned neurons in macaque visual cortex Journal Article
In: Science Advances, vol. 7, no. 8, pp. eabc5837, 2021.
Color is a key feature of natural environments that higher mammals routinely use to detect food, avoid predators, and interpret social signals. The distribution of color signals in natural scenes is widely variable, ranging from uniform patches to highly nonuniform regions in which different colors lie in close proximity. Whether individual neurons are tuned to this high degree of variability of color signals is unknown. Here, we identified a distinct population of cells in macaque visual cortex (area V4) that have a heterogeneous receptive field (RF) structure in which individual subfields are tuned to different colors even though the full RF is only weakly tuned. This spatial heterogeneity in color tuning indicates a higher degree of complexity of color-encoding mechanisms in visual cortex than previously believed to efficiently extract chromatic information from the environment.
Taihei Ninomiya; Atsushi Noritake; Masaki Isoda
Live agent preference and social action monitoring in the macaque mid-superior temporal sulcus region Journal Article
In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 118, no. 44, pp. e2109653118, 2021.
Mentalizing, the ability to infer the mental states of others, is a cornerstone of adaptive social intelligence. While functional brain mapping of human mentalizing has progressed considerably, its evolutionary signature in nonhuman primates remains debated. The discovery that the middle part of the macaque superior temporal sulcus (mid-STS) region has a connectional fingerprint most similar to the human temporoparietal junction (TPJ)-a crucial node in the mentalizing network-raises the possibility that these cortical areas may also share basic functional properties associated with mentalizing. Here, we show that this is the case in aspects of a preference for live social interactions and in a theoretical framework of predictive coding. Macaque monkeys were trained to perform a turn-taking choice task with another real monkey partner sitting directly face-to-face or a filmed partner appearing in prerecorded videos. We found that about three-fourths of task-related mid-STS neurons exhibited agent-dependent activity, most responding selectively or preferentially to the partner's action. At the population level, activities of these partner-type neurons were significantly greater under live-partner compared to videorecorded- partner task conditions. Furthermore, a subset of the partner-type neurons responded proactively when predictions about the partner's action were violated. This prediction error coding was specific to the action domain; almost none of the neurons signaled error in the prediction of reward. The present findings highlight unique roles of the macaque mid-STS at the singleneuron level and further delineate its functional parallels with the human TPJ in social cognitive processes associated with mentalizing.
Mineki Oguchi; Shingo Tanaka; Xiaochuan Pan; Takefumi Kikusui; Keiko Moriya-Ito; Shigeki Kato; Kazuto Kobayashi; Masamichi Sakagami
Chemogenetic inactivation reveals the inhibitory control function of the prefronto-striatal pathway in the macaque brain Journal Article
In: Communications Biology, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1088, 2021.
The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) has a strong monosynaptic connection with the caudate nucleus (CdN) of the striatum. Previous human MRI studies have suggested that this LPFC-CdN pathway plays an important role in inhibitory control and working memory. We aimed to validate the function of this pathway at a causal level by pathway-selective manipulation of neural activity in non-human primates. To this end, we trained macaque monkeys on a delayed oculomotor response task with reward asymmetry and expressed an inhibitory type of chemogenetic receptors selectively to LPFC neurons that project to the CdN. Ligand administration reduced the inhibitory control of impulsive behavior, as well as the task-related neuronal responses observed in the local field potentials from the LPFC and CdN. These results show that we successfully suppressed pathway-selective neural activity in the macaque brain, and the resulting behavioral changes suggest that the LPFC-CdN pathway is involved in inhibitory control.
Gouki Okazawa; Christina E. Hatch; Allan Mancoo; Christian K. Machens; Roozbeh Kiani
Representational geometry of perceptual decisions in the monkey parietal cortex Journal Article
In: Cell, vol. 184, no. 14, pp. 3748–3761, 2021.
Lateral intraparietal (LIP) neurons represent formation of perceptual decisions involving eye movements. In circuit models for these decisions, neural ensembles that encode actions compete to form decisions. Consequently, representation and readout of the decision variables (DVs) are implemented similarly for decisions with identical competing actions, irrespective of input and task context differences. Further, DVs are encoded as partially potentiated action plans through balance of activity of action-selective ensembles. Here, we test those core principles. We show that in a novel face-discrimination task, LIP firing rates decrease with supporting evidence, contrary to conventional motion-discrimination tasks. These opposite response patterns arise from similar mechanisms in which decisions form along curved population-response manifolds misaligned with action representations. These manifolds rotate in state space based on context, indicating distinct optimal readouts for different tasks. We show similar manifolds in lateral and medial prefrontal cortices, suggesting similar representational geometry across decision-making circuits.
John Orczyk; Charles E. Schroeder; Ilana Y. Abeles; Manuel Gomez-Ramirez; Pamela D. Butler; Yoshinao Kajikawa
Comparison of scalp ERP to faces in macaques and humans Journal Article
In: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, vol. 15, pp. 667611, 2021.
Face recognition is an essential activity of social living, common to many primate species. Underlying processes in the brain have been investigated using various techniques and compared between species. Functional imaging studies have shown face-selective cortical regions and their degree of correspondence across species. However, the temporal dynamics of face processing, particularly processing speed, are likely different between them. Across sensory modalities activation of primary sensory cortices in macaque monkeys occurs at about 3/5 the latency of corresponding activation in humans, though this human simian difference may diminish or disappear in higher cortical regions. We recorded scalp event-related potentials (ERPs) to presentation of faces in macaques and estimated the peak latency of ERP components. Comparisons of latencies between macaques (112 ms) and humans (192 ms) suggested that the 3:5 ratio could be preserved in higher cognitive regions of face processing between those species.
Matthew F. Panichello; Timothy J. Buschman
Shared mechanisms underlie the control of working memory and attention Journal Article
In: Nature, vol. 592, no. 7855, pp. 601–605, 2021.
Cognitive control guides behaviour by controlling what, when, and how information is represented in the brain1. For example, attention controls sensory processing; top-down signals from prefrontal and parietal cortex strengthen the representation of task-relevant stimuli2–4. A similar ‘selection' mechanism is thought to control the representations held ‘in mind'—in working memory5–10. Here we show that shared neural mechanisms underlie the selection of items from working memory and attention to sensory stimuli. We trained rhesus monkeys to switch between two tasks, either selecting one item from a set of items held in working memory or attending to one stimulus from a set of visual stimuli. Neural recordings showed that similar representations in prefrontal cortex encoded the control of both selection and attention, suggesting that prefrontal cortex acts as a domain-general controller. By contrast, both attention and selection were represented independently in parietal and visual cortex. Both selection and attention facilitated behaviour by enhancing and transforming the representation of the selected memory or attended stimulus. Specifically, during the selection task, memory items were initially represented in independent subspaces of neural activity in prefrontal cortex. Selecting an item caused its representation to transform from its own subspace to a new subspace used to guide behaviour. A similar transformation occurred for attention. Our results suggest that prefrontal cortex controls cognition by dynamically transforming representations to control what and when cognitive computations are engaged.
Mohsen Parto Dezfouli; Philipp Schwedhelm; Michael Wibral; Stefan Treue; Mohammad Reza Daliri; Moein Esghaei
A neural correlate of visual feature binding in primate lateral prefrontal cortex Journal Article
In: NeuroImage, vol. 229, pp. 117757, 2021.
We effortlessly perceive visual objects as unified entities, despite the preferential encoding of their various visual features in separate cortical areas. A ‘binding' process is assumed to be required for creating this unified percept, but the underlying neural mechanism and specific brain areas are poorly understood. We investigated ‘feature-binding' across two feature dimensions, using a novel stimulus configuration, designed to disambiguate whether a given combination of color and motion direction is perceived as bound or unbound. In the “bound” condition, two behaviorally relevant features (color and motion) belong to the same object, while in the “unbound” condition they belong to different objects. We recorded local field potentials from the lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC) in macaque monkeys that actively monitored the different stimulus configurations. Our data show a neural representation of visual feature binding especially in the 4–12 Hz frequency band and a transmission of binding information between different lPFC neural subpopulations. This information is linked to the animal's reaction time, suggesting a behavioral relevance of the binding information. Together, our results document the involvement of the prefrontal cortex, targeted by the dorsal and ventral visual streams, in binding visual features from different dimensions, in a process that includes a dynamic modulation of low frequency inter-regional communication.
Tyler R. Peel; Suryadeep Dash; Stephen G. Lomber; Brian D. Corneil
Frontal eye field inactivation alters the readout of superior colliculus activity for saccade generation in a task-dependent manner Journal Article
In: Journal of Computational Neuroscience, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 229–249, 2021.
Saccades require a spatiotemporal transformation of activity between the intermediate layers of the superior colliculus (iSC) and downstream brainstem burst generator. The dynamic linear ensemble-coding model (Goossens and Van Opstal 2006) proposes that each iSC spike contributes a fixed mini-vector to saccade displacement. Although biologically-plausible, this model assumes cortical areas like the frontal eye fields (FEF) simply provide the saccadic goal to be executed by the iSC and brainstem burst generator. However, the FEF and iSC operate in unison during saccades, and a pathway from the FEF to the brainstem burst generator that bypasses the iSC exists. Here, we investigate the impact of large yet reversible inactivation of the FEF on iSC activity in the context of the model across four saccade tasks. We exploit the overlap of saccade vectors generated when the FEF is inactivated or not, comparing the number of iSC spikes for metrically-matched saccades. We found that the iSC emits fewer spikes for metrically-matched saccades during FEF inactivation. The decrease in spike count is task-dependent, with a greater decrease accompanying more cognitively-demanding saccades. Our results show that FEF integrity influences the readout of iSC activity in a task-dependent manner. We propose that the dynamic linear ensemble-coding model be modified so that FEF inactivation increases the gain of a readout parameter, effectively increasing the influence of a single iSC spike. We speculate that this modification could be instantiated by FEF and iSC pathways to the cerebellum that could modulate the excitability of the brainstem burst generator.
Alina Peter; Benjamin Johannes Stauch; Katharine Shapcott; Kleopatra Kouroupaki; Joscha Tapani Schmiedt; Liane Klein; Johanna Klon-Lipok; Jarrod Robert Dowdall; Marieke Louise Schölvinck; Martin Vinck; Michael Christoph Schmid; Pascal Fries
Stimulus-specific plasticity of macaque V1 spike rates and gamma Journal Article
In: Cell Reports, vol. 37, no. 10, pp. 110086, 2021.
When a visual stimulus is repeated, average neuronal responses typically decrease, yet they might maintain or even increase their impact through increased synchronization. Previous work has found that many repetitions of a grating lead to increasing gamma-band synchronization. Here, we show in awake macaque area V1 that both repetition-related reductions in firing rate and increases in gamma are specific to the repeated stimulus. These effects show some persistence on the timescale of minutes. Gamma increases are specific to the presented stimulus location. Further, repetition effects on gamma and on firing rates generalize to images of natural objects. These findings support the notion that gamma-band synchronization subserves the adaptive processing of repeated stimulus encounters.
Katrina R. Quinn; Lenka Seillier; Daniel A. Butts; Hendrikje Nienborg
Decision-related feedback in visual cortex lacks spatial selectivity Journal Article
In: Nature Communications, vol. 12, pp. 4473, 2021.
Feedback in the brain is thought to convey contextual information that underlies our flexibility to perform different tasks. Empirical and computational work on the visual system suggests this is achieved by targeting task-relevant neuronal subpopulations. We combine two tasks, each resulting in selective modulation by feedback, to test whether the feedback reflected the combination of both selectivities. We used visual feature-discrimination specified at one of two possible locations and uncoupled the decision formation from motor plans to report it, while recording in macaque mid-level visual areas. Here we show that although the behavior is spatially selective, using only task-relevant information, modulation by decision-related feedback is spatially unselective. Population responses reveal similar stimulus-choice alignments irrespective of stimulus relevance. The results suggest a common mechanism across tasks, independent of the spatial selectivity these tasks demand. This may reflect biological constraints and facilitate generalization across tasks. Our findings also support a previously hypothesized link between feature-based attention and decision-related activity.
Milena Raffi; Andrea Meoni; Alessandro Piras
Analysis of microsaccades during extended practice of a visual discrimination task in the macaque monkey Journal Article
In: Neuroscience Letters, vol. 743, pp. 135581, 2021.
The spatial location indicated by a visual cue can bias microsaccades directions towards or away from the cue. Aim of this work was to evaluate the microsaccades characteristics during the monkey's training, investigating the relationship between a shift of attention and practice. The monkey was trained to press a lever at a target onset, then an expanding optic flow stimulus appeared to the right of the target. After a variable time delay, a visual cue appeared within the optic flow stimulus and the monkey had to release the lever in a maximum reaction time (RT) of 700 ms. In the control task no visual cue appeared and the monkey had to attend a change in the target color. Data were recorded in 9 months. Results revealed that the RTs at the control task changed significantly across time. The microsaccades directions were significantly clustered toward the visual cue, suggesting that the animal developed an attentional bias toward the visual space where the cue appeared. The microsaccades amplitude differed significantly across time. The microsaccades peak velocity differed significantly both across time and within the time delays, indicating that the monkey made faster microsaccades when it expected the cue to appear. The microsaccades number was significantly higher in the control task with respect to discrimination. The lack of change in microsaccades rate, duration, number and direction across time indicates that the experience acquired during practicing the task did not influence microsaccades generation.
Ehsan Rezayat; Mohammad Reza A. Dehaqani; Kelsey Clark; Zahra Bahmani; Tirin Moore; Behrad Noudoost
Frontotemporal coordination predicts working memory performance and its local neural signatures Journal Article
In: Nature Communications, vol. 12, pp. 1103, 2021.
Neurons in some sensory areas reflect the content of working memory (WM) in their spiking activity. However, this spiking activity is seldom related to behavioral performance. We studied the responses of inferotemporal (IT) neurons, which exhibit object-selective activity, along with Frontal Eye Field (FEF) neurons, which exhibit spatially selective activity, during the delay period of an object WM task. Unlike the spiking activity and local field potentials (LFPs) within these areas, which were poor predictors of behavioral performance, the phase-locking of IT spikes and LFPs with the beta band of FEF LFPs robustly predicted successful WM maintenance. In addition, IT neurons exhibited greater object-selective persistent activity when their spikes were locked to the phase of FEF LFPs. These results reveal that the coordination between prefrontal and temporal cortex predicts the successful maintenance of visual information during WM.
Kathryn M. Rothenhoefer; Tao Hong; Aydin Alikaya; William R. Stauffer
Rare rewards amplify dopamine responses Journal Article
In: Nature Neuroscience, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 465–469, 2021.
Dopamine prediction error responses are essential components of universal learning mechanisms. However, it is unknown whether individual dopamine neurons reflect the shape of reward distributions. Here, we used symmetrical distributions with differently weighted tails to investigate how the frequency of rewards and reward prediction errors influence dopamine signals. Rare rewards amplified dopamine responses, even when conventional prediction errors were identical, indicating a mechanism for learning the complexities of real-world incentives.
Megan Roussy; Rogelio Luna; Lyndon Duong; Benjamin Corrigan; Roberto A. Gulli; Ramon Nogueira; Rubén Moreno-Bote; Adam J. Sachs; Lena Palaniyappan; Julio C. Martinez-Trujillo
Ketamine disrupts naturalistic coding of working memory in primate lateral prefrontal cortex networks Journal Article
In: Molecular Psychiatry, vol. 26, pp. 6688–6703, 2021.
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic drug, which has more recently emerged as a rapid-acting antidepressant. When acutely administered at subanesthetic doses, ketamine causes cognitive deficits like those observed in patients with schizophrenia, including impaired working memory. Although these effects have been linked to ketamine's action as an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, it is unclear how synaptic alterations translate into changes in brain microcircuit function that ultimately influence cognition. Here, we administered ketamine to rhesus monkeys during a spatial working memory task set in a naturalistic virtual environment. Ketamine induced transient working memory deficits while sparing perceptual and motor skills. Working memory deficits were accompanied by decreased responses of fast spiking inhibitory interneurons and increased responses of broad spiking excitatory neurons in the lateral prefrontal cortex. This translated into a decrease in neuronal tuning and information encoded by neuronal populations about remembered locations. Our results demonstrate that ketamine differentially affects neuronal types in the neocortex; thus, it perturbs the excitation inhibition balance within prefrontal microcircuits and ultimately leads to selective working memory deficits.
Alexander Schielke; Bart Krekelberg
N-methyl D-aspartate receptor hypofunction reduces visual contextual integration Journal Article
In: Journal of Vision, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 1–11, 2021.
Visual cognition is finely tuned to the elements in a scene but also relies on contextual integration to improve visual detection and discrimination. This integration is impaired in patients with schizophrenia. Studying impairments in contextual integration may lead to biomarkers of schizophrenia, tools to monitor disease progression, and, in animal models, insight into the underlying neural deficits. We developed a nonhuman primate model to test the hypothesis that hypofunction of the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) impairs contextual integration. Two male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)were trained to indicate which of two patterns on the screen had the highest contrast. One of these patterns appeared in isolation, and the other was surrounded by a high-contrast pattern. In humans, this high-contrast context is known to lead to an underestimation of contrast. This so-called Chubb illusion is thought to result from surround suppression, a key contextual integration mechanism. To test the involvement of NMDAR in this process, we compared animals' perceptual bias with and without intramuscular injections of a subanesthetic dose of the NMDAR antagonist ketamine. In the absence of ketamine, the animals reported a Chubb illusion - matching reports in healthy humans. Hence, monkeys - just like humans - perform visual contextual integration. This reaffirms the importance of nonhuman primates to help understand visual cognition. Injection of ketamine significantly reduced the strength of the illusion and thus impaired contextual integration. This supports the hypothesis that NMDAR hypofunction plays a causal role in specific behavioral impairments observed in schizophrenia.
Constanze Schmitt; Jakob C. B. Schwenk; Adrian Schütz; Jan Churan; André Kaminiarz; Frank Bremmer
Preattentive processing of visually guided self-motion in humans and monkeys Journal Article
In: Progress in Neurobiology, vol. 205, pp. 102117, 2021.
The visually-based control of self-motion is a challenging task, requiring – if needed – immediate adjustments to keep on track. Accordingly, it would appear advantageous if the processing of self-motion direction (heading) was predictive, thereby accelerating the encoding of unexpected changes, and un-impaired by attentional load. We tested this hypothesis by recording EEG in humans and macaque monkeys with similar experimental protocols. Subjects viewed a random dot pattern simulating self-motion across a ground plane in an oddball EEG paradigm. Standard and deviant trials differed only in their simulated heading direction (forward-left vs. forward-right). Event-related potentials (ERPs) were compared in order to test for the occurrence of a visual mismatch negativity (vMMN), a component that reflects preattentive and likely also predictive processing of sensory stimuli. Analysis of the ERPs revealed signatures of a prediction mismatch for deviant stimuli in both humans and monkeys. In humans, a MMN was observed starting 110 ms after self-motion onset. In monkeys, peak response amplitudes following deviant stimuli were enhanced compared to the standard already 100 ms after self-motion onset. We consider our results strong evidence for a preattentive processing of visual self-motion information in humans and monkeys, allowing for ultrafast adjustments of their heading direction.
Elena Selezneva; Michael Brosch; Sanchit Rathi; T. Vighneshvel; Nicole Wetzel
Comparison of pupil dilation responses to unexpected sounds in monkeys and humans Journal Article
In: Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 12, pp. 754604, 2021.
Pupil dilation in response to unexpected stimuli has been well documented in human as well as in non-human primates; however, this phenomenon has not been systematically compared between the species. This analogy is also crucial for the role of non-human primates as an animal model to investigate neural mechanisms underlying the processing of unexpected stimuli and their evoked pupil dilation response. To assess this qualitatively, we used an auditory oddball paradigm in which we presented subjects a sequence of the same sounds followed by occasional deviants while we measured their evoked pupil dilation response (PDR). We used deviants (a frequency deviant, a pink noise burst, a monkey vocalization and a whistle sound) which differed in the spectral composition and in their ability to induce arousal from the standard. Most deviants elicited a significant pupil dilation in both species with decreased peak latency and increased peak amplitude in monkeys compared to humans. A temporal Principal Component Analysis (PCA) revealed two components underlying the PDRs in both species. The early component is likely associated to the parasympathetic nervous system and the late component to the sympathetic nervous system, respectively. Taken together, the present study demonstrates a qualitative similarity between PDRs to unexpected auditory stimuli in macaque and human subjects suggesting that macaques can be a suitable model for investigating the neuronal bases of pupil dilation. However, the quantitative differences in PDRs between species need to be investigated in further comparative studies.
Janahan Selvanayagam; Kevin D. Johnston; Raymond K. Wong; David Schaeffer; Stefan Everling
Ketamine disrupts gaze patterns during face viewing in the common marmoset Journal Article
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 126, no. 1, pp. 330–339, 2021.
Faces are stimuli of critical importance for primates. The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is a promising model for investigations of face processing, as this species possesses oculomotor and face-processing networks resembling those of macaques and humans. Face processing is often disrupted in neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia (SZ), and thus, it is important to recapitulate underlying circuitry dysfunction preclinically. The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) noncompetitive antagonist ketamine has been used extensively to model the cognitive symptoms of SZ. Here, we investigated the effects of a subanesthetic dose of ketamine on oculomotor behavior in marmosets during face viewing. Four marmosets received systemic ketamine or saline injections while viewing phase-scrambled or intact videos of conspecifics' faces. To evaluate effects of ketamine on scan paths during face viewing, we identified regions of interest in each face video and classified locations of saccade onsets and landing positions within these areas. A preference for the snout over eye regions was observed following ketamine administration. In addition, regions in which saccades landed could be significantly predicted by saccade onset region in the saline but not the ketamine condition. Effects on saccade control were limited to an increase in saccade peak velocity in all conditions and a reduction in saccade amplitudes during viewing of scrambled videos. Thus, ketamine induced a significant disruption of scan paths during viewing of conspecific faces but limited effects on saccade motor control. These findings support the use of ketamine in marmosets for investigating changes in neural circuits underlying social cognition in neuropsychiatric disorders. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Face processing, an important social cognitive ability, is impaired in neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia. The highly social common marmoset model presents an opportunity to investigate these impairments. We administered subanesthetic doses of ketamine to marmosets to model the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. We observed a disruption of scan paths during viewing of conspecifics' faces. These findings support the use of ketamine in marmosets as a model for investigating social cognition in neuropsychiatric disorders.
Adam C. Snyder; Byron M. Yu; Matthew A. Smith
A stable population code for attention in prefrontal cortex leads a dynamic attention code in visual cortex Journal Article
In: Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 41, no. 44, pp. 9163–9176, 2021.
Attention often requires maintaining a stable mental state over time while simultaneously improving perceptual sensitivity. These requirements place conflicting demands on neural populations, as sensitivity implies a robust response to perturbation by incoming stimuli, which is antithetical to stability. Functional specialization of cortical areas provides one potential mechanism to resolve this conflict. We reasoned that attention signals in executive control areas might be highly stable over time, reflecting maintenance of the cognitive state, thereby freeing up sensory areas to be more sensitive to sensory input (i.e., unstable), which would be reflected by more dynamic attention signals in those areas. To test these predictions, we simultaneously recorded neural populations in prefrontal cortex (PFC) and visual cortical area V4 in rhesus macaque monkeys performing an endogenous spatial selective attention task. Using a decoding approach, we found that the neural code for attention states in PFC was substantially more stable over time compared with the attention code in V4 on a moment-bymoment basis, in line with our guiding thesis. Moreover, attention signals in PFC predicted the future attention state of V4 better than vice versa, consistent with a top-down role for PFC in attention. These results suggest a functional specialization of attention mechanisms across cortical areas with a division of labor. PFC signals the cognitive state and maintains this state stably over time, whereas V4 responds to sensory input in a manner dynamically modulated by that cognitive state.
Rishi Rajalingham; Kohitij Kar; Sachi Sanghavi; Stanislas Dehaene; James J. DiCarlo
The inferior temporal cortex is a potential cortical precursor of orthographic processing in untrained monkeys Journal Article
In: Nature Communications, vol. 11, pp. 3886, 2020.
The ability to recognize written letter strings is foundational to human reading, but the underlying neuronal mechanisms remain largely unknown. Recent behavioral research in baboons suggests that non-human primates may provide an opportunity to investigate this question. We recorded the activity of hundreds of neurons in V4 and the inferior temporal cortex (IT) while naïve macaque monkeys passively viewed images of letters, English words and non-word strings, and tested the capacity of those neuronal representations to support a battery of orthographic processing tasks. We found that simple linear read-outs of IT (but not V4) population responses achieved high performance on all tested tasks, even matching the performance and error patterns of baboons on word classification. These results show that the IT cortex of untrained primates can serve as a precursor of orthographic processing, suggesting that the acquisition of reading in humans relies on the recycling of a brain network evolved for other visual functions.
Jacob A. Westerberg; Alexander Maier; Geoffrey F. Woodman; Jeffrey D. Schall
Performance monitoring during visual priming Journal Article
In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 515–526, 2020.
Repetitive performance of single-feature (efficient or popout) visual search improves RTs and accuracy. This phenomenon, known as priming of pop-out, has been demonstrated in both humans and macaque monkeys. We investigated the relationship between performance monitoring and priming of pop-out. Neuronal activity in the supplementary eye field (SEF) contributes to performance monitoring and to the generation of performance monitoring signals in the EEG. To determine whether priming depends on performance monitoring, we investigated spiking activity in SEF as well as the concurrent EEG of two monkeys performing a priming of pop-out task. We found that SEF spiking did not modulate with priming. Surprisingly, concurrent EEG did covary with priming. Together, these results suggest that performance monitoring contributes to priming of pop-out. However, this performance monitoring seems not mediated by SEF. This dissociation suggests that EEG indices of performance monitoring arise from multiple, functionally distinct neural generators.
Guillaume Doucet; Roberto A. Gulli; Benjamin W. Corrigan; Lyndon R. Duong; Julio C. Martinez-Trujillo
Modulation of local field potentials and neuronal activity in primate hippocampus during saccades Journal Article
In: Hippocampus, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 192–209, 2020.
Primates use saccades to gather information about objects and their relative spatial arrangement, a process essential for visual perception and memory. It has been proposed that signals linked to saccades reset the phase of local field potential (LFP) oscillations in the hippocampus, providing a temporal window for visual signals to activate neurons in this region and influence memory formation. We investigated this issue by measuring hippocampal LFPs and spikes in two macaques performing different tasks with unconstrained eye movements. We found that LFP phase clustering (PC) in the alpha/beta (8–16 Hz) frequencies followed foveation onsets, while PC in frequencies lower than 8 Hz followed spontaneous saccades, even on a homogeneous background. Saccades to a solid grey background were not followed by increases in local neuronal firing, whereas saccades toward appearing visual stimuli were. Finally, saccade parameters correlated with LFPs phase and amplitude: saccade direction correlated with delta (≤4 Hz) phase, and saccade amplitude with theta (4–8 Hz) power. Our results suggest that signals linked to saccades reach the hippocampus, producing synchronization of delta/theta LFPs without a general activation of local neurons. Moreover, some visual inputs co-occurring with saccades produce LFP synchronization in the alpha/beta bands and elevated neuronal firing. Our findings support the hypothesis that saccade-related signals enact sensory input-dependent plasticity and therefore memory formation in the primate hippocampus.
Ramina Adam; Kevin D. Johnston; Ravi S. Menon; Stefan Everling
Functional reorganization during the recovery of contralesional target selection deficits after prefrontal cortex lesions in macaque monkeys Journal Article
In: NeuroImage, vol. 207, pp. 116339, 2020.
Visual extinction has been characterized by the failure to respond to a visual stimulus in the contralesional hemifield when presented simultaneously with an ipsilesional stimulus (Corbetta and Shulman, 2011). Unilateral damage to the macaque frontoparietal cortex commonly leads to deficits in contralesional target selection that resemble visual extinction. Recently, we showed that macaque monkeys with unilateral lesions in the caudal prefrontal cortex (PFC) exhibited contralesional target selection deficits that recovered over 2–4 months (Adam et al., 2019). Here, we investigated the longitudinal changes in functional connectivity (FC) of the frontoparietal network after a small or large right caudal PFC lesion in four macaque monkeys. We collected ultra-high field resting-state fMRI at 7-T before the lesion and at weeks 1–16 post-lesion and compared the functional data with behavioural performance on a free-choice saccade task. We found that the pattern of frontoparietal network FC changes depended on lesion size, such that the recovery of contralesional extinction was associated with an initial increase in network FC that returned to baseline in the two small lesion monkeys, whereas FC continued to increase throughout recovery in the two monkeys with a larger lesion. We also found that the FC between contralesional dorsolateral PFC and ipsilesional parietal cortex correlated with behavioural recovery and that the contralesional dorsolateral PFC showed increasing degree centrality with the frontoparietal network. These findings suggest that both the contralesional and ipsilesional hemispheres play an important role in the recovery of function. Importantly, optimal compensation after large PFC lesions may require greater recruitment of distant and intact areas of the frontoparietal network, whereas recovery from smaller lesions was supported by a normalization of the functional network.
Habiba Azab; Benjamin Y. Hayden
Partial integration of the components of value in anterior cingulate cortex Journal Article
In: Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 134, no. 4, pp. 296–308, 2020.
Evaluation often involves integrating multiple determinants of value, such as the different possible outcomes in risky choice. A brain region can be placed either before or after a presumed evaluation stage by measuring how responses of its neurons depend on multiple determinants of value. A brain region could also, in principle, show partial integration, which would indicate that it occupies a middle position between (preevaluative) nonintegration and (postevaluative) full integration. Existing mathematical techniques cannot distinguish full from partial integration and therefore risk misidentifying regional function. Here we use a new Bayesian regression-based approach to analyze responses of neurons in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) to risky offers. We find that dACC neurons only partially integrate across outcome dimensions, indicating that dACC cannot be assigned to either a pre- or postevaluative position. Neurons in dACC also show putative signatures of value comparison, thereby demonstrating that comparison does not require complete evaluation before proceeding.
Marzyeh Azimi; Mariann Oemisch; Thilo Womelsdorf
Dissociation of nicotinic $alpha$7 and $alpha$4/$beta$2 sub-receptor agonists for enhancing learning and attentional filtering in nonhuman primates Journal Article
In: Psychopharmacology, vol. 237, no. 4, pp. 997–1010, 2020.
Rationale: Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) modulate attention, memory, and higher executive functioning, but it is unclear how nACh sub-receptors mediate different mechanisms supporting these functions. Objectives: We investigated whether selective agonists for the alpha-7 nAChR versus the alpha-4/beta-2 nAChR have unique functional contributions for value learning and attentional filtering of distractors in the nonhuman primate. Methods: Two adult rhesus macaque monkeys performed reversal learning following systemic administration of either the alpha-7 nAChR agonist PHA-543613 or the alpha-4/beta-2 nAChR agonist ABT-089 or a vehicle control. Behavioral analysis quantified performance accuracy, speed of processing, reversal learning speed, the control of distractor interference, perseveration tendencies, and motivation. Results: We found that the alpha-7 nAChR agonist PHA-543613 enhanced the learning speed of feature values but did not modulate how salient distracting information was filtered from ongoing choice processes. In contrast, the selective alpha-4/beta-2 nAChR agonist ABT-089 did not affect learning speed but reduced distractibility. This dissociation was dose-dependent and evident in the absence of systematic changes in overall performance, reward intake, motivation to perform the task, perseveration tendencies, or reaction times. Conclusions: These results suggest nicotinic sub-receptor specific mechanisms consistent with (1) alpha-4/beta-2 nAChR specific amplification of cholinergic transients in prefrontal cortex linked to enhanced cue detection in light of interferences, and (2) alpha-7 nAChR specific activation prolonging cholinergic transients, which could facilitate subjects to follow-through with newly established attentional strategies when outcome contingencies change. These insights will be critical for developing function-specific drugs alleviating attention and learning deficits in neuro-psychiatric diseases.
Pragathi Priyadharsini Balasubramani; Meghan C. Pesce; Benjamin Y. Hayden
Activity in orbitofrontal neuronal ensembles reflects inhibitory control Journal Article
In: European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 51, no. 10, pp. 2033–2051, 2020.
Stopping, or inhibition, is a form of self-control that is a core element of flexible and adaptive behavior. Its neural origins remain unclear. Some views hold that inhibition decisions reflect the aggregation of widespread and diverse pieces of information, including information arising in ostensible core reward regions (i.e., outside the canonical executive system). We recorded activity of single neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) of macaques, a region associated with economic decisions, and whose role in inhibition is debated. Subjects performed a classic inhibition task known as the stop signal task. Ensemble decoding analyses reveal a clear firing rate pattern that distinguishes successful from failed inhibition and that begins after the stop signal and before the stop signal reaction time (SSRT). We also found a different and orthogonal ensemble pattern that distinguishes successful from failed stopping before the beginning of the trial. These signals were distinct from, and orthogonal to, value encoding, which was also observed in these neurons. The timing of the early and late signals was, respectively, consistent with the idea that neuronal activity in OFC encodes inhibition both proactively and reactively.
Kévin Blaize; Fabrice Arcizet; Marc Gesnik; Harry Ahnine; Ulisse Ferrari; Thomas Deffieux; Pierre Pouget; Frédéric Chavane; Mathias Fink; José Alain Sahel; José Alain Sahel; José Alain Sahel; Mickael Tanter; Serge Picaud
Functional ultrasound imaging of deep visual cortex in awake nonhuman primates Journal Article
In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 117, no. 25, pp. 14453–14463, 2020.
Deep regions of the brain are not easily accessible to investigation at the mesoscale level in awake animals or humans. We have recently developed a functional ultrasound (fUS) technique that enables imaging hemodynamic responses to visual tasks. Using fUS imaging on two awake nonhuman primates performing a passive fixation task, we constructed retinotopic maps at depth in the visual cortex (V1, V2, and V3) in the calcarine and lunate sulci. The maps could be acquired in a single-hour session with relatively few presentations of the stimuli. The spatial resolution of the technology is illustrated by mapping patterns similar to ocular dominance (OD) columns within superficial and deep layers of the primary visual cortex. These acquisitions using fUS suggested that OD selectivity is mostly present in layer IV but with extensions into layers II/III and V. This imaging technology provides a new mesoscale approach to the mapping of brain activity at high spatiotemporal resolution in awake subjects within the whole depth of the cortex.
Amarender R. Bogadhi; Antimo Buonocore; Ziad M. Hafed
Task-irrelevant visual forms facilitate covert and overt spatial selection Journal Article
In: Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 40, no. 49, pp. 9496–9506, 2020.
Covert and overt spatial selection behaviors are guided by both visual saliency maps derived from early visual features as well as priority maps reflecting high-level cognitive factors. However, whether mid-level perceptual processes associated with visual form recognition contribute to covert and overt spatial selection behaviors remains unclear. We hypothesized that if peripheral visual forms contribute to spatial selection behaviors, then they should do so even when the visual forms are task-irrelevant. We tested this hypothesis in male and female human subjects as well as in male macaque monkeys performing a visual detection task. In this task, subjects reported the detection of a suprathreshold target spot presented on top of one of two peripheral images, and they did so with either a speeded manual button press (humans) or a speeded saccadic eye movement response (humans and monkeys). Crucially, the two images, one with a visual form and the other with a partially phase-scrambled visual form, were completely irrelevant to the task. In both manual (covert) and oculomotor (overt) response modalities, and in both humans and monkeys, response times were faster when the target was congruent with a visual form than when it was incongruent. Importantly, incongruent targets were associated with almost all errors, suggesting that forms automatically captured selection behaviors. These findings demonstrate that mid-level perceptual processes associated with visual form recognition contribute to covert and overt spatial selection. This indicates that neural circuits associated with target selection, such as the superior colliculus, may have privileged access to visual form information. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Spatial selection of visual information either with (overt) or without (covert) foveating eye movements is critical to primate behavior. However, it is still not clear whether spatial maps in sensorimotor regions known to guide overt and covert spatial selection are influenced by peripheral visual forms. We probed the ability of humans and monkeys to perform overt and covert target selection in the presence of spatially congruent or incongruent visual forms. Even when completely task-irrelevant, images of visual objects had a dramatic effect on target selection, acting much like spatial cues used in spatial attention tasks. Our results demonstrate that traditional brain circuits for orienting behaviors, such as the superior colliculus, likely have privileged access to visual object representations.
Ting Yu Chang; Raymond Doudlah; Byounghoon Kim; Adhira Sunkara; Lowell W. Thompson; Meghan E. Lowe; Ari Rosenberg
Functional links between sensory representations, choice activity, and sensorimotor associations in parietal cortex Journal Article
In: eLife, vol. 9, pp. 1–27, 2020.
Three-dimensional (3D) representations of the environment are often critical for selecting actions that achieve desired goals. The success of these goal-directed actions relies on 3D sensorimotor transformations that are experience-dependent. Here we investigated the relationships between the robustness of 3D visual representations, choice-related activity, and motor-related activity in parietal cortex. Macaque monkeys performed an eight-alternative 3D orientation discrimination task and a visually guided saccade task while we recorded from the caudal intraparietal area using laminar probes. We found that neurons with more robust 3D visual representations preferentially carried choice-related activity. Following the onset of choice-related activity, the robustness of the 3D representations further increased for those neurons. We additionally found that 3D orientation and saccade direction preferences aligned, particularly for neurons with choice-related activity, reflecting an experience-dependent sensorimotor association. These findings reveal previously unrecognized links between the fidelity of ecologically relevant object representations, choice-related activity, and motor-related activity.
Ting Yu Chang; Lowell Thompson; Raymond Doudlah; Byounghoon Kim; Adhira Sunkara; Ari Rosenberg
Optimized but not maximized cue integration for 3D visual perception Journal Article
In: eNeuro, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1–18, 2020.
Reconstructing three-dimensional (3D) scenes from two-dimensional (2D) retinal images is an ill-posed problem. Despite this, 3D perception of the world based on 2D retinal images is seemingly accurate and precise. The integration of distinct visual cues is essential for robust 3D perception in humans, but it is unclear whether this is true for non-human primates (NHPs). Here, we assessed 3D perception in macaque monkeys using a planar surface orientation discrimination task. Perception was accurate across a wide range of spatial poses (orientations and distances), but precision was highly dependent on the plane's pose. The monkeys achieved robust 3D perception by dynamically reweighting the integration of stereoscopic and perspective cues according to their pose-dependent reliabilities. Errors in performance could be explained by a prior resembling the 3D orientation statistics of natural scenes. We used neural network simulations based on 3D orientation-selective neurons recorded from the same monkeys to assess how neural computation might constrain perception. The perceptual data were consistent with a model in which the responses of two independent neuronal populations representing stereoscopic cues and perspective cues (with perspective signals from the two eyes combined using nonlinear canonical computations) were optimally integrated through linear summation. Perception of combined-cue stimuli was optimal given this architecture. However, an alternative architecture in which stereoscopic cues, left eye perspective cues, and right eye perspective cues were represented by three independent populations yielded two times greater precision than the monkeys. This result suggests that, due to canonical computations, cue integration for 3D perception is optimized but not maximized.
Chih-Yang Chen; Denis Matrov; Richard Veale; Hirotaka Onoe; Masatoshi Yoshida; Kenichiro Miura; Tadashi Isa
Properties of visually-guided saccadic behavior and bottom-up attention in marmoset, macaque, and human Journal Article
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, 2020.
The saccade is a stereotypic behavior whose investigation improves our understanding of how primate brains implement precise motor control. Furthermore, saccades offer an important window into the cognitive and attentional state of the brain. Historically, saccade studies have largely relied on macaque. However, the cortical network giving rise to the saccadic command is difficult to study in macaque because relevant cortical areas lie in sulci and are difficult to access. Recently, a New World monkey – the marmoset – has garnered attention as an attractive alternative to macaque because of its smooth cortical surface, its smaller body, and its amenability to transgenic technology. However, adoption of marmoset for oculomotor research has been limited due to a lack of in-depth descriptions of marmoset saccade kinematics and their ability to perform psychophysical and cognitive tasks. Here, we directly compare free-viewing and visually-guided behavior of marmoset, macaque, and human engaged in identical tasks under similar conditions. In video free-viewing task, all species exhibited qualitatively similar saccade kinematics including saccade main sequence up to 25° in amplitude. Furthermore, the conventional bottom-up saliency model predicted gaze targets at similar rates for all species. We further verified their visually-guided behavior by training them with step and gap saccade tasks. All species showed similar gap effect and express saccades in the gap paradigm. Our results suggest that the three species have similar natural and task-guided visuomotor behavior. The marmoset can be trained on saccadic tasks and thus can serve as a model for oculomotor, attention, and cognitive research.
Xiaomo Chen; Marc Zirnsak; Gabriel M. Vega; Eshan Govil; Stephen G. Lomber; Tirin Moore
Parietal cortex regulates visual salience and salience-driven behavior Journal Article
In: Neuron, vol. 106, no. 1, pp. 177–187.e4, 2020.
Chen et al. show that inactivation of parietal cortex selectively reduces salience signals within prefrontal cortex and diminishes the influence of salience on visually guided behavior. The results demonstrate a causal role of parietal cortex in regulating salience signals within the brain and in controlling salience-driven behavior.
Xiaomo Chen; Marc Zirnsak; Gabriel M. Vega; Tirin Moore
Frontal eye field neurons selectively signal the reward value of prior actions Journal Article
In: Progress in Neurobiology, vol. 195, pp. 101881, 2020.
The consequences of individual actions are typically unknown until well after they are executed. This fact necessitates a mechanism that bridges delays between specific actions and reward outcomes. We looked for the presence of such a mechanism in the post-movement activity of neurons in the frontal eye field (FEF), a visuomotor area in prefrontal cortex. Monkeys performed an oculomotor gamble task in which they made eye movements to different locations associated with dynamically varying reward outcomes. Behavioral data showed that monkeys tracked reward history and made choices according to their own risk preferences. Consistent with previous studies, we observed that the activity of FEF neurons is correlated with the expected reward value of different eye movements before a target appears. Moreover, we observed that the activity of FEF neurons continued to signal the direction of eye movements, the expected reward value, and their interaction well after the movements were completed and when targets were no longer within the neuronal response field. In addition, this post-movement information was also observed in local field potentials, particularly in low-frequency bands. These results show that neural signals of prior actions and expected reward value persist across delays between those actions and their experienced outcomes. These memory traces may serve a role in reward-based learning in which subjects need to learn actions predicting delayed reward.
E. Cleeren; I. D. Popivanov; W. Van Paesschen; Peter Janssen
Fast responses to images of animate and inanimate objects in the nonhuman primate amygdala Journal Article
In: Scientific Reports, vol. 10, pp. 14956, 2020.
Visual information reaches the amygdala through the various stages of the ventral visual stream. There is, however, evidence that a fast subcortical pathway for the processing of emotional visual input exists. To explore the presence of this pathway in primates, we recorded local field potentials in the amygdala of four rhesus monkeys during a passive fixation task showing images of ten object categories. Additionally, in one of the monkeys we also obtained multi-unit spiking activity during the same task. We observed remarkably fast medium and high gamma responses in the amygdala of the four monkeys. These responses were selective for the different stimulus categories, showed within-category selectivity, and peaked as early as 60 ms after stimulus onset. Multi-unit responses in the amygdala were lagging the gamma responses by about 40 ms. Thus, these observations add further evidence that selective visual information reaches the amygdala of nonhuman primates through a very fast route.
Benjamin R. Cowley; Adam C. Snyder; Katerina Acar; Ryan C. Williamson; Byron M. Yu; Matthew A. Smith
Slow drift of neural activity as a signature of impulsivity in macaque visual and prefrontal cortex Journal Article
In: Neuron, vol. 108, no. 3, pp. 551–567, 2020.
The ability to make a perceptual decision depends both on sensory inputs and on internal cognitive state. Cowley et al. find a slow drift embedded in populations of neurons in visual and prefrontal cortex. Rather than biasing sensory evidence, the slow drift reflects the likelihood of an impulsive decision.
Olga Dal Monte; Cheng C. J. Chu; Nicholas A. Fagan; Steve W. C. Chang
Specialized medial prefrontal–amygdala coordination in other-regarding decision preference Journal Article
In: Nature Neuroscience, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 565–574, 2020.
Social behaviors recruit multiple cognitive operations that require interactions between cortical and subcortical brain regions. Interareal synchrony may facilitate such interactions between cortical and subcortical neural populations. However, it remains unknown how neurons from different nodes in the social brain network interact during social decision-making. Here we investigated oscillatory neuronal interactions between the basolateral amygdala and the rostral anterior cingulate gyrus of the medial prefrontal cortex while monkeys expressed context-dependent positive or negative other-regarding preference (ORP), whereby decisions affected the reward received by another monkey. Synchronization between the two nodes was enhanced for a positive ORP but suppressed for a negative ORP. These interactions occurred in beta and gamma frequency bands depending on the area contributing the spikes, exhibited a specific directionality of information flow associated with a positive ORP and could be used to decode social decisions. These findings suggest that specialized coordination in the medial prefrontal–amygdala network underlies social-decision preferences.
Cheng Tang; Roger Herikstad; Aishwarya Parthasarathy; Camilo Libedinsky; Shih-Cheng Yen
Minimally dependent activity subspaces for working memory and motor preparation in the lateral prefrontal cortex Journal Article
In: eLife, vol. 9, pp. 1–23, 2020.
The lateral prefrontal cortex is involved in the integration of multiple types of information, including working memory and motor preparation. However, it is not known how downstream regions can extract one type of information without interference from the others present in the network. Here, we show that the lateral prefrontal cortex of non-human primates contains two minimally dependent low-dimensional subspaces: one that encodes working memory information, and another that encodes motor preparation information. These subspaces capture all the information about the target in the delay periods, and the information in both subspaces is reduced in error trials. A single population of neurons with mixed selectivity forms both subspaces, but the information is kept largely independent from each other. A bump attractor model with divisive normalization replicates the properties of the neural data. These results provide new insights into neural processing in prefrontal regions.
David A. Tovar; Jacob A. Westerberg; Michele A. Cox; Kacie Dougherty; Thomas A. Carlson; Mark T. Wallace; Alexander Maier
Stimulus feature-specific information flow along the columnar cortical microcircuit revealed by multivariate laminar spiking analysis Journal Article
In: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, vol. 14, pp. 600601, 2020.
Most of the mammalian neocortex is comprised of a highly similar anatomical structure, consisting of a granular cell layer between superficial and deep layers. Even so, different cortical areas process different information. Taken together, this suggests that cortex features a canonical functional microcircuit that supports region-specific information processing. For example, the primate primary visual cortex (V1) combines the two eyes' signals, extracts stimulus orientation, and integrates contextual information such as visual stimulation history. These processes co-occur during the same laminar stimulation sequence that is triggered by the onset of visual stimuli. Yet, we still know little regarding the laminar processing differences that are specific to each of these types of stimulus information. Univariate analysis techniques have provided great insight by examining one electrode at a time or by studying average responses across multiple electrodes. Here we focus on multivariate statistics to examine response patterns across electrodes instead. Specifically, we applied multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) to linear multielectrode array recordings of laminar spiking responses to decode information regarding the eye-of-origin, stimulus orientation, and stimulus repetition. MVPA differs from conventional univariate approaches in that it examines patterns of neural activity across simultaneously recorded electrode sites. We were curious whether this added dimensionality could reveal neural processes on the population level that are challenging to detect when measuring brain activity without the context of neighboring recording sites. We found that eye-of-origin information was decodable for the entire duration of stimulus presentation, but diminished in the deepest layers of V1. Conversely, orientation information was transient and equally pronounced along all layers. More importantly, using time-resolved MVPA, we were able to evaluate laminar response properties beyond those yielded by univariate analyses. Specifically, we performed a time generalization analysis by training a classifier at one point of the neural response and testing its performance throughout the remaining period of stimulation. Using this technique, we demonstrate repeating (reverberating) patterns of neural activity that have not previously been observed using standard univariate approaches.
Pedro G. Vieira; Matthew R. Krause; Christopher C. Pack
tACS entrains neural activity while somatosensory input is blocked Journal Article
In: PLoS Biology, vol. 18, no. 10, pp. 1–14, 2020.
Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) modulates brain activity by passing electrical current through electrodes that are attached to the scalp. Because it is safe and noninvasive, tACS holds great promise as a tool for basic research and clinical treatment. However, little is known about how tACS ultimately influences neural activity. One hypothesis is that tACS affects neural responses directly, by producing electrical fields that interact with the brain's endogenous electrical activity. By controlling the shape and location of these electric fields, one could target brain regions associated with particular behaviors or symptoms. However, an alternative hypothesis is that tACS affects neural activity indirectly, via peripheral sensory afferents. In particular, it has often been hypothesized that tACS acts on sensory fibers in the skin, which in turn provide rhythmic input to central neurons. In this case, there would be little possibility of targeted brain stimulation, as the regions modulated by tACS would depend entirely on the somatosensory pathways originating in the skin around the stimulating electrodes. Here, we directly test these competing hypotheses by recording single-unit activity in the hippocampus and visual cortex of alert monkeys receiving tACS. We find that tACS entrains neuronal activity in both regions, so that cells fire synchronously with the stimulation. Blocking somatosensory input with a topical anesthetic does not significantly alter these neural entrainment effects. These data are therefore consistent with the direct stimulation hypothesis and suggest that peripheral somatosensory stimulation is not required for tACS to entrain neurons.
Benjamin Voloh; Mariann Oemisch; Thilo Womelsdorf
Phase of firing coding of learning variables across the fronto-striatal network during feature-based learning Journal Article
In: Nature Communications, vol. 11, pp. 4669, 2020.
The prefrontal cortex and striatum form a recurrent network whose spiking activity encodes multiple types of learning-relevant information. This spike-encoded information is evident in average firing rates, but finer temporal coding might allow multiplexing and enhanced readout across the connected network. We tested this hypothesis in the fronto-striatal network of nonhuman primates during reversal learning of feature values. We found that populations of neurons encoding choice outcomes, outcome prediction errors, and outcome history in their firing rates also carry significant information in their phase-of-firing at a 10–25 Hz band-limited beta frequency at which they synchronize across lateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and anterior striatum when outcomes were processed. The phase-of-firing code exceeds information that can be obtained from firing rates alone and is evident for inter-areal connections between anterior cingulate cortex, lateral prefrontal cortex and anterior striatum. For the majority of connections, the phase-of-firing information gain is maximal at phases of the beta cycle that were offset from the preferred spiking phase of neurons. Taken together, these findings document enhanced information of three important learning variables at specific phases of firing in the beta cycle at an inter-areally shared beta oscillation frequency during goal-directed behavior.
Steven Wiesner; Ian W. Baumgart; Xin Huang
Spatial arrangement drastically changes the neural representation of multiple visual stimuli that compete in more than one feature domain Journal Article
In: Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 40, no. 9, pp. 1834–1848, 2020.
Natural scenes often contain multiple objects and surfaces. However, how neurons in the visual cortex represent multiple visual stimuli is not well understood. Previous studies have shown that, when multiple stimuli compete in one feature domain, the evoked neuronal response is biased toward the stimulus that has a stronger signal strength. We recorded from two male macaques to investigate how neurons in the middle temporal cortex (MT) represent multiple stimuli that compete in more than one feature domain. Visual stimuli were two random-dot patches moving in different directions. One stimulus had low luminance contrast and moved with high coherence, whereas the other had high contrast and moved with low coherence. We found that how MT neurons represent multiple stimuli depended on the spatial arrangement. When two stimuli were overlapping, MT responses were dominated by the stimulus component that had high contrast. When two stimuli were spatially separated within the receptive fields, the contrast dominance was abolished. We found the same results when using contrast to compete with motion speed. Our neural data and computer simulations using a V1-MT model suggest that the contrast dominance found with overlapping stimuli is due to normalization occurring at an input stage fed to MT, and MT neurons cannot overturn this bias based on their own feature selectivity. The interaction between spatially separated stimuli can largely be explained by normalization within MT. Our results revealed new rules on stimulus competition and highlighted the impact of hierarchical processing on representing multiple stimuli in the visual cortex.
Vanessa A. D. Wilson; Carolin Kade; Sebastian Moeller; Stefan Treue; Igor Kagan; Julia Fischer
Macaque gaze responses to the primatar: A virtual macaque head for social cognition research Journal Article
In: Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 11, pp. 1645, 2020.
Following the expanding use and applications of virtual reality in everyday life, realistic virtual stimuli are of increasing interest in cognitive studies. They allow for control of features such as gaze, expression, appearance, and movement, which may help to overcome limitations of using photographs or video recordings to study social responses. In using virtual stimuli however, one must be careful to avoid the uncanny valley effect, where realistic stimuli can be perceived as eerie, and induce an aversion response. At the same time, it is important to establish whether responses to virtual stimuli mirror responses to depictions of a real conspecific. In the current study, we describe the development of a new virtual monkey head with realistic facial features for experiments with nonhuman primates, the “Primatar.” As a first step toward validation, we assessed how monkeys respond to facial images of a prototype of this Primatar compared to images of real monkeys (RMs), and an unrealistic model. We also compared gaze responses between original images and scrambled as well as obfuscated versions of these images. We measured looking time to images in six freely moving long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) and gaze exploration behavior in three rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Both groups showed more signs of overt attention to original images than scrambled or obfuscated images. In addition, we found no evidence for an uncanny valley effect; since for both groups, looking times did not differ between real, realistic, or unrealistic images. These results provide important data for further development of our Primatar for use in social cognition studies and more generally for cognitive research with virtual stimuli in nonhuman primates. Future research on the absence of an uncanny valley effect in macaques is needed, to elucidate the roots of this mechanism in humans.
Seng Bum Michael Yoo; Benjamin Y. Hayden
The transition from evaluation to selection involves neural subspace reorganization in core reward regions Journal Article
In: Neuron, vol. 105, no. 4, pp. 712–724.e4, 2020.
Economic choice proceeds from evaluation, in which we contemplate options, to selection, in which we weigh options and choose one. These stages must be differentiated so that decision makers do not proceed to selection before evaluation is complete. We examined responses of neurons in two core reward regions, orbitofrontal (OFC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), during two-option choice with asynchronous offer presentation. Our data suggest that neurons selective during the first (presumed evaluation) and second (presumed comparison and selection) offer epochs come from a single pool. Stage transition is accompanied by a shift toward orthogonality in the low-dimensional population response manifold. Nonetheless, the relative position of each option in driving responses in the population subspace is preserved. The orthogonalization we observe supports the hypothesis that the transition from evaluation to selection leads to reorganization of response subspace and suggests a mechanism by which value-related signals are prevented from prematurely driving choice.
Mengxi Yun; Takashi Kawai; Masafumi Nejime; Hiroshi Yamada; Masayuki Matsumoto
Signal dynamics of midbrain dopamine neurons during economic decision-making in monkeys Journal Article
In: Science Advances, vol. 6, no. 27, pp. eaba4962, 2020.
When we make economic choices, the brain first evaluates available options and then decides whether to choose them. Midbrain dopamine neurons are known to reinforce economic choices through their signal evoked by outcomes after decisions are made. However, although critical internal processing is executed while decisions are being made, little is known about the role of dopamine neurons during this period. We found that dopamine neurons exhibited dynamically changing signals related to the internal processing while rhesus monkeys were making decisions. These neurons encoded the value of an option immediately after it was offered and then gradually changed their activity to represent the animal's upcoming choice. Similar dynamics were observed in the orbitofrontal cortex, a center for economic decision-making, but the value-to-choice signal transition was completed earlier in dopamine neurons. Our findings suggest that dopamine neurons are a key component of the neural network that makes choices from values during ongoing decision-making processes.
Polina Zamarashkina; Dina V. Popovkina; Anitha Pasupathy
Timing of response onset and offset in macaque V4: stimulus and task dependence Journal Article
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 123, no. 6, pp. 2311–2325, 2020.
In the primate visual cortex, both the magnitude of the neuronal response and its timing can carry important information about the visual world, but studies typically focus only on response magnitude. Here, we examine the onset and offset latency of the responses of neurons in area V4 of awake, behaving macaques across several experiments in the context of a variety of stimuli and task paradigms. Our results highlight distinct contributions of stimuli and tasks to V4 response latency. We found that response onset latencies are shorter than typically cited (median = 75.5 ms), supporting a role for V4 neurons in rapid object and scene recognition functions. Moreover, onset latencies are longer for smaller stimuli and stimulus outlines, consistent with the hypothesis that longer latencies are associated with higher spatial frequency content. Strikingly, we found that onset latencies showed no significant dependence on stimulus occlusion, unlike in inferotemporal cortex, nor on task demands. Across the V4 population, onset latencies had a broad distribution, reflecting the diversity of feedforward, recurrent, and feedback connections that inform the responses of individual neurons. Response offset latencies, on the other hand, displayed the opposite tendency in their relationship to stimulus and task attributes: they are less influenced by stimulus appearance but are shorter in guided saccade tasks compared with fixation tasks. The observation that response latency is influenced by stimulus- and task-associated factors emphasizes a need to examine response timing alongside firing rate in determining the functional role of area V4.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Onset and offset timing of neuronal responses can provide information about visual environment and neuron's role in visual processing and its anatomical connectivity. In the first comprehensive examination of onset and offset latencies in the intermediate visual cortical area V4, we find neurons respond faster than previously reported, making them ideally suited to contribute to rapid object and scene recognition. While response onset reflects stimulus characteristics, timing of response offset is influenced more by behavioral task.
R. Becket Ebitz; Jiaxin Cindy Tu; Benjamin Y. Hayden
Rules warp feature encoding in decision-making circuits Journal Article
In: PLOS Biology, vol. 18, no. 11, pp. 1–38, 2020.
We have the capacity to follow arbitrary stimulus–response rules, meaning simple policies that guide our behavior. Rule identity is broadly encoded across decision-making circuits, but there are less data on how rules shape the computations that lead to choices. One idea is that rules could simplify these computations. When we follow a rule, there is no need to encode or compute information that is irrelevant to the current rule, which could reduce the metabolic or energetic demands of decision-making. However, it is not clear if the brain can actually take advantage of this computational simplicity. To test this idea, we recorded from neurons in 3 regions linked to decision-making, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), ventral striatum (VS), and dorsal striatum (DS), while macaques performed a rule-based decision-making task. Rule-based decisions were identified via modeling rules as the latent causes of decisions. This left us with a set of physically identical choices that maximized reward and information, but could not be explained by simple stimulus–response rules. Contrasting rule-based choices with these residual choices revealed that following rules (1) decreased the energetic cost of decision-making; and (2) expanded rule-relevant coding dimensions and compressed rule-irrelevant ones. Together, these results suggest that we use rules, in part, because they reduce the costs of decision-making through a distributed representational warping in decision-making circuits.
Steven P. Errington; Geoffrey F. Woodman; Jeffrey D. Schall
Dissociation of medial frontal $beta$-bursts and executive control Journal Article
In: Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 40, no. 48, pp. 9272–9282, 2020.
The neural mechanisms of executive and motor control concern both basic researchers and clinicians. In human studies, preparation and cancellation of movements are accompanied by changes in the $beta$-frequency band (15-29 Hz) of electroencephalogram (EEG). Previous studies with human participants performing stop signal (countermanding) tasks have described reduced frequency of transient $beta$-bursts over sensorimotor cortical areas before movement initiation and increased $beta$-bursting over medial frontal areas with movement cancellation. This modulation has been interpreted as contributing to the trial-by-trial control of behavior. We performed identical analyses of EEG recorded over the frontal lobe of macaque monkeys (one male, one female) performing a saccade countermanding task. While we replicate the occurrence and modulation of $beta$-bursts associated with initiation and cancellation of saccades, we found that $beta$-bursts occur too infrequently to account for the observed stopping behavior. We also found $beta$-bursts were more common after errors, but their incidence was unrelated to response time (RT) adaptation. These results demonstrate the homology of this EEG signature between humans and macaques but raise questions about the current interpretation of $beta$ band functional significance.
Armin Najarpour Foroushani; Sujaya Neupane; Pablo De Heredia Pastor; Christopher C. Pack; Mohamad Sawan
Spatial resolution of local field potential signals in macaque V4 Journal Article
In: Journal of Neural Engineering, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 1–23, 2020.
Objective. An important challenge for the development of cortical visual prostheses is to generate spatially localized percepts of light, using artificial stimulation. Such percepts are called phosphenes, and the goal of prosthetic applications is to generate a pattern of phosphenes that matches the structure of the retinal image. A preliminary step in this process is to understand how the spatial positions of phosphene-like visual stimuli are encoded in the distributed activity of cortical neurons. The spatial resolution with which the distributed responses discriminate positions puts a limit on the capability of visual prosthesis devices to induce phosphenes at multiple positions. While most previous prosthetic devices have targeted the primary visual cortex, the extrastriate cortex has the advantage of covering a large part of the visual field with a smaller amount of cortical tissue, providing the possibility of a more compact implant. Here, we studied how well ensembles of Local Field Potentials (LFPs) and Multiunit activity (MUA) responses from extrastriate cortical visual area V4 of a behaving macaque monkey can discriminate between two-dimensional spatial positions. Approach. We used support vector machines (SVM) to determine the capabilities of LFPs and MUA to discriminate responses to phosphene-like stimuli (probes) at different spatial separations. We proposed a selection strategy based on the combined responses of multiple electrodes and used the linear learning weights to find the minimum number of electrodes for fine and coarse discriminations. We also measured the contribution of correlated trial-to-trial variability in the responses to the discrimination performance for MUA and LFP. Main results. We found that despite the large receptive field sizes in V4, the combined responses from multiple sites, whether MUA or LFP, are capable of fine and coarse discrimination of positions. Our electrode selection procedure significantly increased discrimination performance while reducing the required number of electrodes. Analysis of noise correlations in MUA and LFP responses showed that noise correlations in LFPs carry more information about spatial positions. Significance. This study determined the coding strategy for fine discrimination, suggesting that spatial positions could be well localized with patterned stimulation in extrastriate area V4. It also provides a novel approach to build a compact prosthesis with relatively few electrodes, which has the potential advantage of reducing tissue damage in real applications.
Mathilda Froesel; Quentin Goudard; Marc Hauser; Maëva Gacoin; Suliann Ben Hamed
Automated video-based heart rate tracking for the anesthetized and behaving monkey Journal Article
In: Scientific Reports, vol. 10, pp. 17940, 2020.
Heart rate (HR) is extremely valuable in the study of complex behaviours and their physiological correlates in non-human primates. However, collecting this information is often challenging, involving either invasive implants or tedious behavioural training. In the present study, we implement a Eulerian video magnification (EVM) heart tracking method in the macaque monkey combined with wavelet transform. This is based on a measure of image to image fluctuations in skin reflectance due to changes in blood influx. We show a strong temporal coherence and amplitude match between EVM-based heart tracking and ground truth ECG, from both color (RGB) and infrared (IR) videos, in anesthetized macaques, to a level comparable to what can be achieved in humans. We further show that this method allows to identify consistent HR changes following the presentation of conspecific emotional voices or faces. EVM is used to extract HR in humans but has never been applied to non-human primates. Video photoplethysmography allows to extract awake macaques HR from RGB videos. In contrast, our method allows to extract awake macaques HR from both RGB and IR videos and is particularly resilient to the head motion that can be observed in awake behaving monkeys. Overall, we believe that this method can be generalized as a tool to track HR of the awake behaving monkey, for ethological, behavioural, neuroscience or welfare purposes.
Roberto A. Gulli; Lyndon R. Duong; Benjamin W. Corrigan; Guillaume Doucet; Sylvain Williams; Stefano Fusi; Julio C. Martinez-Trujillo
Context-dependent representations of objects and space in the primate hippocampus during virtual navigation Journal Article
In: Nature Neuroscience, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 103–112, 2020.
The hippocampus is implicated in associative memory and spatial navigation. To investigate how these functions are mixed in the hippocampus, we recorded from single hippocampal neurons in macaque monkeys navigating a virtual maze during a foraging task and a context–object associative memory task. During both tasks, single neurons encoded information about spatial position; a linear classifier also decoded position. However, the population code for space did not generalize across tasks, particularly where stimuli relevant to the associative memory task appeared. Single-neuron and population-level analyses revealed that cross-task changes were due to selectivity for nonspatial features of the associative memory task when they were visually available (perceptual coding) and following their disappearance (mnemonic coding). Our results show that neurons in the primate hippocampus nonlinearly mix information about space and nonspatial elements of the environment in a task-dependent manner; this efficient code flexibly represents unique perceptual experiences and correspondent memories.
Ziad M. Hafed; Laurent Goffart
Gaze direction as equilibrium: More evidence from spatial and temporal aspects of small-saccade triggering in the rhesus macaque monkey Journal Article
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 123, no. 1, pp. 308–322, 2020.
Rigorous behavioral studies made in human subjects have shown that small-eccentricity target displacements are associated with increased saccadic reaction times, but the reasons for this remain unclear. Before characterizing the neurophysiological foundations underlying this relationship between the spatial and temporal aspects of saccades, we tested the triggering of small saccades in the male rhesus macaque monkey. We also compared our results to those obtained in human subjects, both from the existing literature and through our own additional measurements. Using a variety of behavioral tasks exercising visual and nonvisual guidance of small saccades, we found that small saccades consistently require more time than larger saccades to be triggered in the nonhuman primate, even in the absence of any visual guidance and when valid advance information about the saccade landing position is available. We also found a strong asymmetry in the reaction times of small upper versus lower visual field visually guided saccades, a phenomenon that has not been described before for small saccades, even in humans. Following the suggestion that an eye movement is not initiated as long as the visuo-oculomotor system is within a state of balance, in which opposing commands counterbalance each other, we propose that the longer reaction times are a signature of enhanced times needed to create the symmetry-breaking condition that puts downstream premotor neurons into a push-pull regime necessary for rotating the eyeballs. Our results provide an important catalog of nonhuman primate oculomotor capabilities on the miniature scale, allowing concrete predictions on underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Leveraging a multitude of neurophysiological investigations in the rhesus macaque monkey, we generated and tested hypotheses about small-saccade latencies in this animal model. We found that small saccades always take longer, on average, than larger saccades to trigger, regardless of visual and cognitive context. Moreover, small downward saccades have the longest latencies overall. Our results provide an important documentation of oculomotor capabilities of an indispensable animal model for neuroscientific research in vision, cognition, and action.
Eric Hart; Alexander C. Huk
Recurrent circuit dynamics underlie persistent activity in the macaque frontoparietal network Journal Article
In: eLife, vol. 9, pp. 1–22, 2020.
During delayed oculomotor response tasks, neurons in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) and the frontal eye fields (FEF) exhibit persistent activity that reflects the active maintenance of behaviorally relevant information. Despite many computational models of the mechanisms of persistent activity, there is a lack of circuit-level data from the primate to inform the theories. To fill this gap, we simultaneously recorded ensembles of neurons in both LIP and FEF while macaques performed a memory-guided saccade task. A population encoding model revealed strong and symmetric long-timescale recurrent excitation between LIP and FEF. Unexpectedly, LIP exhibited stronger local functional connectivity than FEF, and many neurons in LIP had longer network and intrinsic timescales. The differences in connectivity could be explained by the strength of recurrent dynamics in attractor networks. These findings reveal reciprocal multi-area circuit dynamics in the frontoparietal network during persistent activity and lay the groundwork for quantitative comparisons to theoretical models.
Christopher A. Henry; Adam Kohn
Spatial contextual effects in primary visual cortex limit feature representation under crowding Journal Article
In: Nature Communications, vol. 11, pp. 1687, 2020.
Crowding is a profound loss of discriminability of visual features, when a target stimulus is surrounded by distractors. Numerous studies of human perception have characterized how crowding depends on the properties of a visual display. Yet, there is limited understanding of how and where stimulus information is lost in the visual system under crowding. Here, we show that macaque monkeys exhibit perceptual crowding for target orientation that is similar to humans. We then record from neuronal populations in monkey primary visual cortex (V1). These populations show an appreciable loss of information about target orientation in the presence of distractors, due both to divisive and additive modulation of responses to targets by distractors. Our results show that spatial contextual effects in V1 limit the discriminability of visual features and can contribute substantively to crowding.
James P. Herman; Fabrice Arcizet; Richard J. Krauzlis
Attention-related modulation of caudate neurons depends on superior colliculus activity Journal Article
In: eLife, vol. 9, pp. 1–26, 2020.
Recent work has implicated the primate basal ganglia in visual perception and attention, in addition to their traditional role in motor control. The basal ganglia, especially the caudate nucleus “head” (CDh) of the striatum, receive indirect anatomical connections from the superior colliculus, a midbrain structure that is known to play a crucial role in the control of visual attention. To test the possible functional relationship between these subcortical structures, we recorded CDh neuronal activity of macaque monkeys before and during unilateral superior colliculus (SC) inactivation in a spatial attention task. SC inactivation significantly altered the attention-related modulation of CDh neurons and strongly impaired the classification of task epochs based on CDh activity. Only inactivation of SC on the same side of the brain as recorded CDh neurons, not the opposite side, had these effects. These results demonstrate a novel interaction between SC activity and attention-related visual processing in the basal ganglia.
Ahmad Jezzini; Camillo Padoa-Schioppa
Neuronal activity in the primate amygdala during economic choice Journal Article
In: Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 40, no. 6, pp. 1286–1301, 2020.
Multiple lines of evidence link economic choices to the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), but other brain regions may contribute to the computation and comparison of economic values. A particularly strong candidate is the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Amygdala lesions impair performance in reinforcer devaluation tasks, suggesting that the BLA contributes to value computation. Furthermore, previous studies of the BLA have found neuronal activity consistent with a value representation. Here, we recorded from the BLA of two male rhesus macaques choosing between different juices. Offered quantities varied from trial to trial, and relative values were inferred from choices. Approximately one-third of BLA cells were task-related. Our analyses revealed the presence of three groups of neurons encoding variables offer value, chosen value, and chosen juice. In this respect, the BLA appeared similar to the OFC. The two areas differed for the proportion of neurons in each group, as the fraction of chosen value cells was significantly higher in the BLA. Importantly, the activity of these neurons reflected the subjective nature of value. Firing rates in the BLA were sustained throughout the trial and maximal after juice delivery. In contrast, firing rates in the OFC were phasic and maximal shortly after offer presentation. Our results suggest that the BLA supports economic choice and reward expectation.
Sanjeev B. Khanna; Jonathan A. Scott; Matthew A. Smith
Dynamic shifts of visual and saccadic signals in prefrontal cortical regions 8Ar and FEF Journal Article
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 124, no. 6, pp. 1774–1791, 2020.
Active vision is a fundamental process by which primates gather information about the external world. Multiple brain regions have been studied in the context of simple active vision tasks in which a visual target's appearance is temporally separated from saccade execution. Most neurons have tight spatial registration between visual and saccadic signals, and in areas such as prefrontal cortex (PFC), some neurons show persistent delay activity that links visual and motor epochs and has been proposed as a basis for spatial working memory. Many PFC neurons also show rich dynamics, which have been attributed to alternative working memory codes and the representation of other task variables. Our study investigated the transition between processing a visual stimulus and generating an eye movement in populations of PFC neurons in macaque monkeys performing a memory guided saccade task. We found that neurons in two subregions of PFC, the frontal eye fields (FEF) and area 8Ar, differed in their dynamics and spatial response profiles. These dynamics could be attributed largely to shifts in the spatial profile of visual and motor responses in individual neurons. This led to visual and motor codes for particular spatial locations that were instantiated by different mixtures of neurons, which could be important in PFC's flexible role in multiple sensory, cognitive, and motor tasks.NEW & NOTEWORTHY A central question in neuroscience is how the brain transitions from sensory representations to motor outputs. The prefrontal cortex contains neurons that have long been implicated as important in this transition and in working memory. We found evidence for rich and diverse tuning in these neurons, which was often spatially misaligned between visual and saccadic responses. This feature may play an important role in flexible working memory capabilities.
Ricardo Kienitz; Michele A. Cox; Kacie Dougherty; Richard C. Saunders; Joscha T. Schmiedt; David A. Leopold; Alexander Maier; Michael C. Schmid
Theta, but not gamma oscillations in area V4 depend on input from primary visual cortex Journal Article
In: Current Biology, pp. 1–12, 2020.
Theta (3–9 Hz) and gamma (30–100 Hz) oscillations have been observed at different levels along the hierarchy of cortical areas and across a wide set of cognitive tasks. In the visual system, the emergence of both rhythms in primary visual cortex (V1) and mid-level cortical areas V4 has been linked with variations in perceptual reaction times.1–5 Based on analytical methods to infer causality in neural activation patterns, it was concluded that gamma and theta oscillations might both reflect feedforward sensory processing from V1 to V4.6–10 Here, we report on experiments in macaque monkeys in which we experimentally assessed the presence of both oscillations in the neural activity recorded from multi-electrode arrays in V1 and V4 before and after a permanent V1 lesion. With intact cortex, theta and gamma oscillations could be reliably elicited in V1 and V4 when monkeys viewed a visual contour illusion and showed phase-to-amplitude coupling. Laminar analysis in V1 revealed that both theta and gamma oscillations occurred primarily in the supragranular layers, the cortical output compartment of V1. However, there was a clear dissociation between the two rhythms in V4 that became apparent when the major feedforward input to V4 was removed by lesioning V1: although V1 lesioning eliminated V4 theta, it had little effect on V4 gamma power except for delaying its emergence by >100 ms. These findings suggest that theta is more tightly associated with feedforward processing than gamma and pose limits on the proposed role of gamma as a feedforward mechanism.
Sorin A. Pojoga; Natasha Kharas; Valentin Dragoi
Perceptually unidentifiable stimuli influence cortical processing and behavioral performance Journal Article
In: Nature Communications, vol. 11, pp. 6109, 2020.
Our daily behavior is dynamically influenced by conscious and unconscious processes. Although the neural bases of conscious experience have been extensively investigated over the past several decades, how unconscious information impacts neural circuitry and behavior remains unknown. Here, we recorded populations of neurons in macaque primary visual cortex (V1) to find that perceptually unidentifiable stimuli repeatedly presented in the absence of awareness are encoded by neural populations in a way that facilitates their future processing in the context of a behavioral task. Such exposure increases stimulus sensitivity and information encoded in cell populations, even though animals are unaware of stimulus identity. This phenomenon is consistent with a Hebbian mechanism underlying an increase in functional connectivity specifically for the neurons activated by subthreshold stimuli. This form of unsupervised adaptation may constitute a vestigial pre-attention system using the mere frequency of stimulus occurrence to change stimulus representations even when sensory inputs are perceptually invisible.
Joern K. Pomper; Silvia Spadacenta; Friedemann Bunjes; Daniel Arnstein; Martin A. Giese; Peter Thier
Representation of the observer's predicted outcome value in mirror and nonmirror neurons of macaque F5 ventral premotor cortex Journal Article
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 124, no. 3, pp. 941–961, 2020.
In the search for the function of mirror neurons, a previous study reported that F5 mirror neuron responses are modulated by the value that the observing monkey associates with the grasped object. Yet we do not know whether mirror neurons are modulated by the expected reward value for the observer or also by other variables, which are causally dependent on value (e.g., motivation, attention directed at the observed action, arousal). To clarify this, we trained two rhesus macaques to observe a grasping action on an object kept constant, followed by four fully predictable outcomes of different values (2 outcomes with positive and 2 with negative emotional valence). We found a consistent order in population activity of both mirror and nonmirror neurons that matches the order of the value of this predicted outcome but that does not match the order of the above-mentioned value-dependent variables. These variables were inferred from the probability not to abort a trial, saccade latency, modulation of eye position during action observation, heart rate, and pupil size. Moreover, we found subpopulations of neurons tuned to each of the four predicted outcome values. Multidimensional scaling revealed equal normalized distances of 0.25 between the two positive and between the two negative outcomes suggesting the representation of a relative value, scaled to the task setting. We conclude that F5 mirror neurons and nonmirror neurons represent the observer's predicted outcome value, which in the case of mirror neurons may be transferred to the observed object or action. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Both the populations of F5 mirror neurons and nonmirror neurons represent the predicted value of an outcome resulting from the observation of a grasping action. Value-dependent motivation, arousal, and attention directed at the observed action do not provide a better explanation for this representation. The population activity's metric suggests an optimal scaling of value representation to task setting.
Pierre Pouget; Stephen Frey; Harry Ahnine; David Attali; Julien Claron; Charlotte Constans; Jean-Francois Aubry; Fabrice Arcizet
Neuronavigated repetitive transcranial ultrasound stimulation induces long-lasting and reversible effects on oculomotor performance in non-human primates Journal Article
In: Frontiers in Physiology, vol. 11, pp. 1042, 2020.
Since the late 2010s, Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation (TUS) has been used experimentally to carryout safe, non-invasive stimulation of the brain with better spatial resolution than Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). This innovative stimulation method has emerged as a novel and valuable device for studying brain function in humans and animals. In particular, single pulses of TUS directed to oculomotor regions have been shown to modulate visuomotor behavior of non-human primates during 100 ms ultrasound pulses. In the present study, a sustained effect was induced by applying 20-s trains of neuronavigated repetitive Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation (rTUS) to oculomotor regions of the frontal cortex in three non-human primates performing an antisaccade task. With the help of MRI imaging and a frame-less stereotactic neuronavigation system (SNS), we were able to demonstrate that neuronavigated TUS (outside of the MRI scanner) is an efficient tool to carry out neuromodulation procedures in non-human primates. We found that, following neuronavigated rTUS, saccades were significantly modified, resulting in shorter latencies compared to no-rTUS trials. This behavioral modulation was maintained for up to 20 min. Oculomotor behavior returned to baseline after 18–31 min and could not be significantly distinguished from the no-rTUS condition. This study is the first to show that neuronavigated rTUS can have a persistent effect on monkey behavior with a quantified return-time to baseline. The specificity of the effects could not be explained by auditory confounds.
Paul Henri Prévot; Kevin Gehere; Fabrice Arcizet; Himanshu Akolkar; Mina A. Khoei; Kévin Blaize; Omar Oubari; Pierre Daye; Marion Lanoë; Manon Valet; Sami Dalouz; Paul Langlois; Elric Esposito; Valérie Forster; Elisabeth Dubus; Nicolas Wattiez; Elena Brazhnikova; Céline Nouvel-Jaillard; Yannick LeMer; Joanna Demilly; Claire Maëlle Fovet; Philippe Hantraye; Morgane Weissenburger; Henri Lorach; Elodie Bouillet; Martin Deterre; Ralf Hornig; Guillaume Buc; José Alain Sahel; Guillaume Chenegros; Pierre Pouget; Ryad Benosman; Serge Picaud
Behavioural responses to a photovoltaic subretinal prosthesis implanted in non-human primates Journal Article
In: Nature Biomedical Engineering, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 172–180, 2020.
Retinal dystrophies and age-related macular degeneration related to photoreceptor degeneration can cause blindness. In blind patients, although the electrical activation of the residual retinal circuit can provide useful artificial visual perception, the resolutions of current retinal prostheses have been limited either by large electrodes or small numbers of pixels. Here we report the evaluation, in three awake non-human primates, of a previously reported near-infrared-light-sensitive photovoltaic subretinal prosthesis. We show that multipixel stimulation of the prosthesis within radiation safety limits enabled eye tracking in the animals, that they responded to stimulations directed at the implant with repeated saccades and that the implant-induced responses were present two years after device implantation. Our findings pave the way for the clinical evaluation of the prosthesis in patients affected by dry atrophic age-related macular degeneration.
Sina Salehi; Mohammad Reza A. Dehaqani; Behrad Noudoost; Hossein Esteky
Distinct mechanisms of face representation by enhancive and suppressive neurons of the inferior temporal cortex Journal Article
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 124, no. 4, pp. 1216–1228, 2020.
Face-selective neurons in the inferior temporal (IT) cortex respond to faces by either increasing (ENH) or decreasing (SUP) their spiking activities compared with their baseline. Although nearly half of IT face neurons are selectively suppressed by face stimulation, their role in face representation is not clear. To address this issue, we recorded the spiking activities and local field potential (LFP) from IT cortex of three monkeys while they viewed a large set of visual stimuli. LFP high-gamma (HG-LFP) power indicated the presence of both ENH and SUP face-selective neural clusters in IT cortex. The magnitude of HG-LFP power of the recording sites was correlated with the magnitude of change in the evoked spiking activities of its constituent neurons for both ENH and SUP face clusters. Spatial distribution of the ENH and SUP face clusters suggests the presence of a complex and heterogeneous face hypercluster organization in IT cortex. Importantly, ENH neurons conveyed more face category and SUP neurons conveyed more face identity information at both the single-unit and neuronal population levels. Onset and peak of suppressive single-unit, neuronal population, and HG-LFP power activities lagged those of the ENH ones. These results demonstrate that IT neuronal code for face representation is optimized by increasing sparseness through selective suppression of a subset of face neurons. We suggest that IT cortex contains spatial clusters of both ENH and SUP face neurons with distinct specialized functional role in face representation. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Electrophysiological and imaging studies have suggested that face information is encoded by a network of clusters of enhancive face-selective neurons in the visual cortex of man and monkey. We show that nearly half of face-selective neurons are suppressed by face stimulation. The suppressive neurons form spatial clusters and convey more face identity information than the enhancive face neurons. Our results suggest the presence of two neuronal subsystems for coarse and fine face information processing.
David J. Schaeffer; Janahan Selvanayagam; Kevin D. Johnston; Ravi S. Menon; Winrich A. Freiwald; Stefan Everling
Face selective patches in marmoset frontal cortex Journal Article
In: Nature Communications, vol. 11, pp. 4856, 2020.
In humans and macaque monkeys, socially relevant face processing is accomplished via a distributed functional network that includes specialized patches in frontal cortex. It is unclear whether a similar network exists in New World primates, who diverged $sim$35 million years from Old World primates. The common marmoset is a New World primate species ideally placed to address this question given their complex social repertoire. Here, we demonstrate the existence of a putative high-level face processing network in marmosets. Like Old World primates, marmosets show differential activation in anterior cingulate and lateral prefrontal cortices while they view socially relevant videos of marmoset faces. We corroborate the locations of these frontal regions by demonstrating functional and structural connectivity between these regions and temporal lobe face patches. Given the evolutionary separation between macaques and marmosets, our results suggest this frontal network specialized for social face processing predates the separation between Platyrrhini and Catarrhini.
Philipp Schwedhelm; Daniel Baldauf; Stefan Treue
The lateral prefrontal cortex of primates encodes stimulus colors and their behavioral relevance during a match-to-sample task Journal Article
In: Scientific Reports, vol. 10, pp. 4216, 2020.
The lateral prefrontal cortex of primates (lPFC) plays a central role in complex cognitive behavior, in decision-making as well as in guiding top-down attention. However, how and where in lPFC such behaviorally relevant signals are computed is poorly understood. We analyzed neural recordings from chronic microelectrode arrays implanted in lPFC region 8Av/45 of two rhesus macaques. The animals performed a feature match-to-sample task requiring them to match both motion and color information in a test stimulus. This task allowed to separate the encoding of stimulus motion and color from their current behavioral relevance on a trial-by-trial basis. We found that upcoming motor behavior can be robustly predicted from lPFC activity. In addition, we show that 8Av/45 encodes the color of a visual stimulus, regardless of its behavioral relevance. Most notably, whether a color matches the searched-for color can be decoded independent of a trial's motor outcome and while subjects detect unique feature conjunctions of color and motion. Thus, macaque area 8Av/45 computes, among other task-relevant information, the behavioral relevance of visual color features. Such a signal is most critical for both the selection of responses as well as the deployment of top-down modulatory signals, like feature-based attention.
H. N. Schwerdt; K. Amemori; D. J. Gibson; L. L. Stanwicks; T. Yoshida; N. P. Bichot; S. Amemori; R. Desimone; R. Langer; M. J. Cima; A. M. Graybiel
Dopamine and beta-band oscillations differentially link to striatal value and motor control Journal Article
In: Science Advances, vol. 6, no. 39, pp. eabb9226, 2020.
Parkinson's disease is characterized by decreased dopamine and increased beta-band oscillatory activity accompanying debilitating motor and mood impairments. Coordinate dopamine-beta opposition is considered a normative rule for basal ganglia function. We report a breakdown of this rule. We developed multimodal systems allowing the first simultaneous, chronic recordings of dopamine release and beta-band activity in the striatum of nonhuman primates during behavioral performance. Dopamine and beta signals were anticorrelated over secondslong time frames, in agreement with the posited rule, but at finer time scales, we identified conditions in which these signals were modulated with the same polarity. These measurements demonstrated that task-elicited beta suppressions preceded dopamine peaks and that relative dopamine-beta timing and polarity depended on reward value, performance history, movement, and striatal domain. These findings establish a new view of coordinate dopamine and beta signaling operations, critical to guide novel strategies for diagnosing and treating Parkinson's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders.
Caspar M. Schwiedrzik; Sandrin S. Sudmann
Pupil diameter tracks statistical structure in the environment to increase visual sensitivity Journal Article
In: Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 40, no. 23, pp. 4565–4575, 2020.
Pupil diameter determines how much light hits the retina, and thus, how much information is available for visual processing. This is regulated by a brainstem reflex pathway. Here, we investigate whether this pathway is under control of internal models about the environment. This would allow adjusting pupil dynamics to environmental statistics to augment information transmission. We present image sequences containing internal temporal structure to humans of either sex and male macaque monkeys. We then measure whether the pupil tracks this temporal structure not only at the rate of luminance variations, but also at the rate of statistics not available from luminance information alone. We find entrainment to environmental statistics in both species. This entrainment directly affects visual processing by increasing sensitivity at the environmentally relevant temporal frequency. Thus, pupil dynamics are matched to the temporal structure of the environment to optimize perception, in line with an active sensing account.
Katharine A. Shapcott; Joscha T. Schmiedt; Kleopatra Kouroupaki; Ricardo Kienitz; Andreea Lazar; Wolf Singer; Michael C. Schmid
Reward-related suppression of neural activity in macaque visual area v4 Journal Article
In: Cerebral Cortex, vol. 30, no. 9, pp. 4871–4881, 2020.
In order for organisms to survive, they need to detect rewarding stimuli, for example, food or a mate, in a complex environment with many competing stimuli. These rewarding stimuli should be detected even if they are nonsalient or irrelevant to the current goal. The value-driven theory of attentional selection proposes that this detection takes place through reward-associated stimuli automatically engaging attentional mechanisms. But how this is achieved in the brain is not very well understood. Here, we investigate the effect of differential reward on the multiunit activity in visual area V4 of monkeys performing a perceptual judgment task. Surprisingly, instead of finding reward-related increases in neural responses to the perceptual target, we observed a large suppression at the onset of the reward indicating cues. Therefore, while previous research showed that reward increases neural activity, here we report a decrease. More suppression was caused by cues associated with higher reward than with lower reward, although neither cue was informative about the perceptually correct choice. This finding of reward-associated neural suppression further highlights normalization as a general cortical mechanism and is consistent with predictions of the value-driven attention theory.
Zhenhua Shi; Xiaomo Chen; Changming Zhao; He He; Veit Stuphorn; Dongrui Wu
Multi-view broad learning system for primate oculomotor decision decoding Journal Article
In: IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 28, no. 9, pp. 1908–1920, 2020.
Multi-view learning improves the learning performance by utilizing multi-view data: data collected from multiple sources, or feature sets extracted from the same data source. This approach is suitable for primate brain state decoding using cortical neural signals. This is because the complementary components of simultaneously recorded neural signals, local field potentials (LFPs) and action potentials (spikes), can be treated as two views. In this paper, we extended broad learning system (BLS), a recently proposed wide neural network architecture, from single-view learning to multi-view learning, and validated its performance in decoding monkeys' oculomotor decision from medial frontal LFPs and spikes. We demonstrated that medial frontal LFPs and spikes in non-human primate do contain complementary information about the oculomotor decision, and that the proposed multi-view BLS is a more effective approach for decoding the oculomotor decision than several classical and state-of-the-art single-view and multi-view learning approaches.
Ramona Siebert; Nick Taubert; Silvia Spadacenta; Peter W. Dicke; Martin A. Giese; Peter Thier
A naturalistic dynamic monkey head avatar elicits species-typical reactions and overcomes the uncanny valley Journal Article
In: eNeuro, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 1–17, 2020.
Research on social perception in monkeys may benefit from standardized, controllable, and ethologically valid renditions of conspecifics offered by monkey avatars. However, previous work has cautioned that monkeys, like humans, show an adverse reaction toward realistic synthetic stimuli, known as the “uncanny valley” effect. We developed an improved naturalistic rhesus monkey face avatar capable of producing facial expressions (fear grin, lip smack and threat), animated by motion capture data of real monkeys. For validation, we addition-ally created decreasingly naturalistic avatar variants. Eight rhesus macaques were tested on the various videos and avoided looking at less naturalistic avatar variants, but not at the most naturalistic or the most unnaturalis-tic avatar, indicating an uncanny valley effect for the less naturalistic avatar versions. The avoidance was deepened by motion and accompanied by physiological arousal. Only the most naturalistic avatar evoked facial expressions comparable to those toward the real monkey videos. Hence, our findings demonstrate that the uncanny valley reaction in monkeys can be overcome by a highly naturalistic avatar.
Daniel L. Kimmel; Gamaleldin F. Elsayed; John P. Cunningham; William T. Newsome
Value and choice as separable and stable representations in orbitofrontal cortex Journal Article
In: Nature Communications, vol. 11, pp. 3466, 2020.
Value-based decision-making requires different variables—including offer value, choice, expected outcome, and recent history—at different times in the decision process. Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is implicated in value-based decision-making, but it is unclear how downstream circuits read out complex OFC responses into separate representations of the relevant variables to support distinct functions at specific times. We recorded from single OFC neurons while macaque monkeys made cost-benefit decisions. Using a novel analysis, we find separable neural dimensions that selectively represent the value, choice, and expected reward of the present and previous offers. The representations are generally stable during periods of behavioral relevance, then transition abruptly at key task events and between trials. Applying new statistical methods, we show that the sensitivity, specificity and stability of the representations are greater than expected from the population's low-level features—dimensionality and temporal smoothness—alone. The separability and stability suggest a mechanism—linear summation over static synaptic weights—by which downstream circuits can select for specific variables at specific times.
Jan Kubanek; Julian Brown; Patrick Ye; Kim Butts Pauly; Tirin Moore; William Newsome
Remote, brain region-specific control of choice behavior with ultrasonic waves Journal Article
In: Science Advances, vol. 6, no. 21, pp. eaaz4193, 2020.
The ability to modulate neural activity in specific brain circuits remotely and systematically could revolutionize studies of brain function and treatments of brain disorders. Sound waves of high frequencies (ultrasound) have shown promise in this respect, combining the ability to modulate neuronal activity with sharp spatial focus. Here, we show that the approach can have potent effects on choice behavior. Brief, low-intensity ultrasound pulses delivered noninvasively into specific brain regions of macaque monkeys influenced their decisions regarding which target to choose. The effects were substantial, leading to around a 2:1 bias in choices compared to the default balanced proportion. The effect presence and polarity was controlled by the specific target region. These results represent a critical step towards the ability to influence choice behavior noninvasively, enabling systematic investigations and treatments of brain circuits underlying disorders of choice.;.
Marcin Leszczyński; Annamaria Barczak; Yoshinao Kajikawa; Istvan Ulbert; Arnaud Y. Falchier; Idan Tal; Saskia Haegens; Lucia Melloni; Robert T. Knight; Charles E. Schroeder
Dissociation of broadband high-frequency activity and neuronal firing in the neocortex Journal Article
In: Science Advances, vol. 6, no. 33, pp. eabb0977, 2020.
Broadband High-frequency Activity (BHA; 70-150 Hz), also known as “high gamma,” a key analytic signal in human intracranial recordings is often assumed to reflect local neural firing (multiunit activity; MUA). Accordingly, BHA has been used to study neuronal population responses in auditory (1,2), visual (3,4), language (5), mnemonic processes (6-9) and cognitive control (10,11). BHA is arguably the electrophysiological measure best correlated with the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal in fMRI (12-13). However, beyond the fact that BHA correlates with neuronal spiking (12, 14-16), the neuronal populations and physiological processes generating BHA are not precisely defined. Although critical for interpreting intracranial signals in human and non-human primates, the precise physiology of BHA remains unknown. Here, we show that BHA dissociates from MUA in primary visual and auditory cortex. Using laminar multielectrode data in monkeys, we found a bimodal distribution of stimulus-evoked BHA across depth of a cortical column: an early-deep, followed by a later-superficial layer response. Only, the early-deep layer BHA had a clear local MUA correlate, while the more prominent superficial layer BHA had a weak or undetectable MUA correlate. In many cases, particularly in V1 (70%), supragranular sites showed strong BHA in lieu of any detectable increase in MUA. Due to volume conduction, BHA from both the early-deep and the later-supragranular generators contribute to the field potential at the pial surface, though the contribution may be weighted towards the late-supragranular BHA. Our results demonstrate that the strongest generators of BHA are in the superficial cortical layers and show that the origins of BHA include a mixture of the neuronal action potential firing and dendritic processes separable from this firing. It is likely that the typically-recorded BHA signal emphasizes the latter processes to a greater extent than previously recognized.
Baowang Li; Brandy N. Routh; Daniel Johnston; Eyal Seidemann; Nicholas J. Priebe
Voltage-gated intrinsic conductances shape the input-output relationship of cortical neurons in behaving primate V1 Journal Article
In: Neuron, vol. 107, no. 1, pp. 185–196.e4, 2020.
Li et al. used whole-cell recording to reveal a large and unexpected voltage-gated intrinsic conductance that dramatically alters the integrative properties of primate V1 neurons. Therefore, a standard computational model of sensory neurons that incorporates linear integration of synaptic inputs followed by a threshold nonlinearity requires revision.
Zhongqiao Lin; Chechang Nie; Yuanfeng Zhang; Yang Chen; Tianming Yang
Evidence accumulation for value computation in the prefrontal cortex during decision making Journal Article
In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 117, no. 48, pp. 30728–30737, 2020.
A key step of decision making is to determine the value associated with each option. The evaluation process often depends on the accumulation of evidence from multiple sources, which may arrive at different times. How evidence is accumulated for value computation in the brain during decision making has not been well studied. To address this problem, we trained rhesus monkeys to perform a decision-making task in which they had to make eye movement choices between two targets, whose reward probabilities had to be determined with the combined evidence from four sequentially presented visual stimuli. We studied the encoding of the reward probabilities associated with the stimuli and the eye movements in the orbitofrontal (OFC) and the dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC) cortices during the decision process. We found that the OFC neurons encoded the reward probability associated with individual pieces of evidence in the stimulus domain. Importantly, the representation of the reward probability in the OFC was transient, and the OFC did not encode the reward probability associated with the combined evidence from multiple stimuli. The computation of the combined reward probabilities was observed only in the DLPFC and only in the action domain. Furthermore, the reward probability encoding in the DLPFC exhibited an asymmetric pattern of mixed selectivity that supported the computation of the stimulus-to-action transition of reward information. Our results reveal that the OFC and the DLPFC play distinct roles in the value computation during evidence accumulation.
Ye Liu; Ming Li; Xian Zhang; Yiliang Lu; Hongliang Gong; Jiapeng Yin; Zheyuan Chen; Liling Qian; Yupeng Yang; Ian Max Andolina; Stewart Shipp; Niall Mcloughlin; Shiming Tang; Wei Wang
Hierarchical representation for chromatic processing across macaque V1, V2, and V4 Journal Article
In: Neuron, vol. 108, no. 3, pp. 538–550.e5, 2020.
How does our visual brain generate perceptual color space? Liu et al. find that within a uniform blob-like architecture of hue responses, chromotopic maps develop progressively in scale and precision along the visual hierarchy of macaque V1, V2, and V4. Such hierarchical refinement improves spectral uniformity, better reflecting color perception.
Adi Lixenberg; Merav Yarkoni; Yehudit Botschko; Mati Joshua
Encoding of eye movements explains reward-related activity in cerebellar simple spikes Journal Article
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 123, no. 2, pp. 786–799, 2020.
The cerebellum exhibits both motor and reward-related signals. However, it remains unclear whether reward is processed independently from the motor command or might reflect the motor consequences of the reward drive. To test how reward-related signals interact with sensorimotor processing in the cerebellum, we recorded Purkinje cell simple spike activity in the cerebellar floccular complex while monkeys were engaged in smooth pursuit eye movement tasks. The color of the target signaled the size of the reward the monkeys would receive at the end of the target motion. When the tracking task presented a single target, both pursuit and neural activity were only slightly modulated by the reward size. The reward modulations in single cells were rarely large enough to be detected. These modulations were only significant in the population analysis when we averaged across many neurons. In two-target tasks where the monkey learned to select based on the size of the reward outcome, both behavior and neural activity adapted rapidly. In both the single- and two-target tasks, the size of the reward-related modulation matched the size of the effect of reward on behavior. Thus, unlike cortical activity in eye movement structures, the reward-related signals could not be dissociated from the motor command. These results suggest that reward information is integrated with the eye movement command upstream of the Purkinje cells in the floccular complex. Thus reward-related modulations of the simple spikes are akin to modulations found in motor behavior and not to the central processing of the reward value. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Disentangling sensorimotor and reward signals is only possible if these signals do not completely overlap. We recorded activity in the floccular complex of the cerebellum while monkeys performed tasks designed to separate representations of reward from those of movement. Activity modulation by reward could be accounted for by the coding of eye movement parameters, suggesting that reward information is already integrated into motor commands upstream of the floccular complex.
Kaleb A. Lowe; Wolf Zinke; Anthony M. Phipps; Josh Cosman; Micala Maddox; Jeffrey D. Schall; Charles F. Caskey
Visuomotor transformations are modulated by focused ultrasound over frontal eye field Journal Article
In: Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, pp. 1–14, 2020.
Neuromodulation with focused ultrasound (FUS) is being widely explored as a non-invasive tool to stimulate focal brain regions because of its superior spatial resolution and coverage compared with other neuro- modulation methods. The precise effects of FUS stimulation on specific regions of the brain are not yet fully understood. Here, we characterized the behavioral effects of FUS stimulation directly applied through a craniot- omy over the macaque frontal eye field (FEF). In macaque monkeys making directed eye movements to perform visual search tasks with direct or arbitrary responses, focused ultrasound was applied through a craniotomy over the FEF. Saccade response times (RTs) and error rates were determined for trials without or with FUS stim- ulation with pulses at a peak negative pressure of either 250 or 425 kPa. Both RTs and error rates were affected by FUS. Responses toward a target located contralateral to the FUS stimulation were approximately 3 ms slower in the presence of FUS in both monkeys studied, while only one exhibited a slowing of responses for ipsilateral targets. Error rates were lower in one monkey in this study. In another search task requiring making eye move- ments toward a target (pro-saccades) or in the opposite direction (anti-saccades), the RT for pro-saccades increased in the presence of FUS stimulation. Our results indicate the effectiveness of FUS to modulate saccadic responses when stimulating FEF in awake, behaving non-human primates. (E-mail:
Liya Ma; Janahan Selvanayagam; Maryam Ghahremani; Lauren K. Hayrynen; Kevin D. Johnston; Stefan Everling
Single-unit activity in marmoset posterior parietal cortex in a gap saccade task Journal Article
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 123, no. 3, pp. 896–911, 2020.
Abnormal saccadic eye movements can serve as biomarkers for patients with several neuropsychiatric disorders. The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is becoming increasingly popular as a nonhuman primate model to investigate the cortical mechanisms of saccadic control. Recently, our group demonstrated that microstimulation in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) of marmosets elicits contralateral saccades. Here we recorded single-unit activity in the PPC of the same two marmosets using chronic microelectrode arrays while the monkeys performed a saccadic task with gap trials (target onset lagged fixation point offset by 200 ms) interleaved with step trials (fixation point disappeared when the peripheral target appeared). Both marmosets showed a gap effect, shorter saccadic reaction times (SRTs) in gap vs. step trials. On average, stronger gap-period responses across the entire neuronal population preceded shorter SRTs on trials with contralateral targets although this correlation was stronger among the 15% “gap neurons,” which responded significantly during the gap. We also found 39% “target neurons” with significant saccadic target-related responses, which were stronger in gap trials and correlated with the SRTs better than the remaining neurons. Compared with saccades with relatively long SRTs, short-SRT saccades were preceded by both stronger gap-related and target-related responses in all PPC neurons, regardless of whether such response reached significance. Our findings suggest that the PPC in the marmoset contains an area that is involved in the modulation of saccadic preparation. NEW & NOTEWORTHY As a primate model in systems neuroscience, the marmoset is a great complement to the macaque monkey because of its unique advantages. To identify oculomotor networks in the marmoset, we recorded from the marmoset posterior parietal cortex during a saccadic task and found single-unit activities consistent with a role in saccadic modulation. This finding supports the marmoset as a valuable model for studying oculomotor control.
Tatiana Malevich; Antimo Buonocore; Ziad M. Hafed
Rapid stimulus-driven modulation of slow ocular position drifts Journal Article
In: eLife, vol. 9, pp. 1–22, 2020.
The eyes are never still during maintained gaze fixation. When microsaccades are not occurring, ocular position exhibits continuous slow changes, often referred to as drifts. Unlike microsaccades, drifts remain to be viewed as largely random eye movements. Here we found that ocular position drifts can, instead, be very systematically stimulus-driven, and with very short latencies. We used highly precise eye tracking in three well trained macaque monkeys and found that even fleeting ($sim$8 ms duration) stimulus presentations can robustly trigger transient and stimulus-specific modulations of ocular position drifts, and with only approximately 60 ms latency. Such drift responses are binocular, and they are most effectively elicited with large stimuli of low spatial frequency. Intriguingly, the drift responses exhibit some image pattern selectivity, and they are not explained by convergence responses, pupil constrictions, head movements, or starting eye positions. Ocular position drifts have very rapid access to exogenous visual information.
Vahid Mehrpour; Julio C. Martinez-Trujillo; Stefan Treue
Attention amplifies neural representations of changes in sensory input at the expense of perceptual accuracy Journal Article
In: Nature Communications, vol. 11, pp. 2128, 2020.
Attention enhances the neural representations of behaviorally relevant stimuli, typically by a push–pull increase of the neuronal response gain to attended vs. unattended stimuli. This selectively improves perception and consequently behavioral performance. However, to enhance the detectability of stimulus changes, attention might also distort neural representations, compromising accurate stimulus representation. We test this hypothesis by recording neural responses in the visual cortex of rhesus monkeys during a motion direction change detection task. We find that attention indeed amplifies the neural representation of direction changes, beyond a similar effect of adaptation. We further show that humans overestimate such direction changes, providing a perceptual correlate of our neurophysiological observations. Our results demonstrate that attention distorts the neural representations of abrupt sensory changes and consequently perceptual accuracy. This likely represents an evolutionary adaptive mechanism that allows sensory systems to flexibly forgo accurate representation of stimulus features to improve the encoding of stimulus change.
Jeff T. Mohl; John M. Pearson; Jennifer M. Groh
Monkeys and humans implement causal inference to simultaneously localize auditory and visual stimuli Journal Article
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 124, no. 3, pp. 715–727, 2020.
The environment is sampled by multiple senses, which are woven together to produce a unified perceptual state. However, optimally unifying such signals requires assigning particular signals to the same or different underlying objects or events. Many prior studies (especially in animals) have assumed fusion of cross-modal information, whereas recent work in humans has begun to probe the appropriateness of this assumption. Here we present results from a novel behavioral task in which both monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and humans localized visual and auditory stimuli and reported their perceived sources through saccadic eye movements. When the locations of visual and auditory stimuli were widely separated, subjects made two saccades, while when the two stimuli were presented at the same location they made only a single saccade. Intermediate levels of separation produced mixed response patterns: a single saccade to an intermediate position on some trials or separate saccades to both locations on others. The distribution of responses was well described by a hierarchical causal inference model that accu- rately predicted both the explicit “same vs. different” source judg- ments as well as biases in localization of the source(s) under each of these conditions. The results from this task are broadly consistent with prior work in humans across a wide variety of analogous tasks, extending the study of multisensory causal inference to nonhuman primates and to a natural behavioral task with both a categorical assay of the number of perceived sources and a continuous report of the perceived position of the stimuli.
Atsushi Noritake; Taihei Ninomiya; Masaki Isoda
Representation of distinct reward variables for self and other in primate lateral hypothalamus Journal Article
In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 117, no. 10, pp. 5516–5524, 2020.
The lateral hypothalamus (LH) has long been implicated in maintaining behavioral homeostasis essential for the survival of an individual. However, recent evidence suggests its more widespread roles in behavioral coordination, extending to the social domain. The neuronal and circuit mechanisms behind the LH processing of social information are unknown. Here, we show that the LH represents distinct reward variables for “self” and “other” and is causally involved in shaping socially motivated behavior. During a Pavlovian conditioning procedure incorporating ubiquitous social experiences where rewards to others affect one's motivation, LH cells encoded the subjective value of self-rewards, as well as the likelihood of self- or other-rewards. The other-reward coding was not a general consequence of other's existence, but a specific effect of other's reward availability. Coherent activity with and top-down information flow from the medial prefrontal cortex, a hub of social brain networks, contributed to signal encoding in the LH. Furthermore, deactivation of LH cells eliminated the motivational impact of other-rewards. These results indicate that the LH constitutes a subcortical node in social brain networks and shapes one's motivation by integrating cortically derived, agent-specific reward information.
Monica N. O'Connell; Annamaria Barczak; Tammy McGinnis; Kieran Mackin; Todd Mowery; Charles E. Schroeder; Peter Lakatos
The role of motor and environmental visual rhythms in structuring auditory cortical excitability Journal Article
In: iScience, vol. 23, no. 8, pp. 101374, 2020.
Previous studies indicate that motor sampling patterns modulate neuronal excit- ability in sensory brain regions by entraining brain rhythms, a process termed mo- tor-initiated entrainment. In addition, rhythms of the external environment are also capable of entraining brain rhythms. Our first goal was to investigate the properties ofmotor-initiatedentrainment in theauditory systemusingaprominent visualmotor sampling pattern in primates, saccades. Second, we wanted to determine whether/ how motor-initiated entrainment interacts with visual environmental entrainment. Weexamined laminar profiles of neuronal ensemble activity in primary auditory cor- tex and found that whereasmotor-initiated entrainment has a suppressive effect, vi- sual environmental entrainment has an enhancive effect. We also found that these processes are temporally coupled, and their temporal relationship ensures that their effect on excitability is complementary rather than interfering. Altogether, our re- sults demonstrate that motor and sensory systems continuously interact in orches- tratingthebrain's context for theoptimal samplingofourmultisensoryenvironment. INTRODUCTION