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"Cortical circuits for sensory-guided decision-making", David Margolis (Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers)

Tuesday, April 02, 2019, 01:00pm - 02:30pm

Busch Campus, Psych 101

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Cortical circuits for sensory-guided decision-making

Abstract: The brain constantly integrates sensory inputs to guide behavior. Recent work in the the rodent whisker-to-barrel cortex system has revealed close links between early somatosensory processing and motor control. This talk highlights experiments investigating the function of neuronal projections from primary somatosensory cortex (S1) to specific downstream targets, including the dorsal striatum. Using projection-specific optogenetic stimulation and electrophysiological recordings of identified cell types, we have found that cortical projections from S1 and from primary motor cortex (M1) differentially innervate spiny projection neurons and interneurons in the dorsal striatum, and exert opposing effects on behavior. Striatal parvalbumin-expressing (PV) interneurons play a prominent role in mediating these effects. The opposing effects of S1 and M1 on behavior via distinct influences on striatal circuitry have important implications for understanding the role of corticostriatal function in behavior choice, and potential mechanisms of disease states.