Dynamics of population codes across cortex during navigation-based decision tasks


November 29, 2016 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Northwest 243
About the Speaker
Christopher Harvey
Speaker Affiliation: 


I will present recent work aimed at understanding activity dynamics in populations of mouse cortical neurons during navigation-based decision tasks in virtual reality. We use two-photon calcium imaging to record the activity of hundreds of neurons simultaneously and develop computational approaches to reveal structure in the activity dynamics of these populations. We identified major differences in the fundamentals of population coding between sensory cortex and association cortex. These differences reveal distinct timescales of coding across cortex and suggest that long and diverse coding timescales are an emergent property of population activity.
In addition, we have examined the role of long timescale population dynamics in the posterior parietal cortex during an evidence accumulation decision task. Our findings suggest that evidence accumulation may emerge from general dynamical properties that instantiate short-term memory.