History-based action selection bias in posterior parietal cortex

Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 1;8(1):1242. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01356-z.


Making decisions based on choice-outcome history is a crucial, adaptive ability in life. However, the neural circuit mechanisms underlying history-dependent decision-making are poorly understood. In particular, history-related signals have been found in many brain areas during various decision-making tasks, but the causal involvement of these signals in guiding behavior is unclear. Here we addressed this issue utilizing behavioral modeling, two-photon calcium imaging, and optogenetic inactivation in mice. We report that a subset of neurons in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) closely reflect the choice-outcome history and history-dependent decision biases, and PPC inactivation diminishes the history dependency of choice. Specifically, many PPC neurons show history- and bias-tuning during the inter-trial intervals (ITI), and history dependency of choice is affected by PPC inactivation during ITI and not during trial. These results indicate that PPC is a critical region mediating the subjective use of history in biasing action selection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Choice Behavior / physiology*
  • Decision Making
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Mice
  • Optogenetics
  • Parietal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Parietal Lobe / metabolism
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Selection Bias*


  • Calcium