Decisions under uncertainty: behavioral algorithms and prefrontal cortical circuit motifs

Summary

Date: 
September 15, 2015 - 12:00pm
Location: 
NW 243
About the Speaker
Name: 
Adam Kepecs (CSHL)

My lab studies the computational and neurobiological principles underlying decision-making in rodents. In this talk I will describe two complementary research directions: one starting from a psychological question about decision confidence, and another starting at the cellular level by recording identified neuron types.

Decision confidence manifests itself to us as a feeling but it can also be described as forecast about the correctness of one’s decision. Although it is often regarded as a higher-order function of the brain requiring self-awareness, I will describe an approach incorporating mathematical models and human psychophysics that enables us to probe the neurobiological basis of confidence in rats. Next, I will describe our approach to record form genetically- and projection-defined neuron types during behavior. I will focus on our results showing that three distinct classes of inhibitory interneurons code unique behavioral variables and the possible circuit origins of these signals.