Department of Neurobiology
Cortical dynamics for flexible navigation decisions
We study flexible sensorimotor decision-making in mice during navigation-based tasks in virtual reality. I will present approaches to study this topic using analyses of population dynamics from calcium imaging movies, optogenetic perturbations, and measurements of behavioral variability. We have developed behavioral tasks in which mice integrate internally-stored contextual information, in the form of short-term memories, with sensory cues to guide navigation choices. We have used unbiased methods to identify regions of the mouse cortex involved in these tasks, leading to a particular focus on posterior parietal cortex, retrosplenial cortex, and V1. I will present findings that parietal and retrosplenial areas use mixed representations of sensory and contextual information to generate navigational trajectories toward rewarded goal locations. I will discuss potential decision-related roles for these cortical regions for mapping sensory and internal information onto navigational actions.
A pizza lunch will be served.