Animals continuously integrate sensory information and select contextually appropriate responses. Here, we show that zebrafish larvae select a behavioral response to acoustic stimuli from a pre-existing choice repertoire in a context-dependent manner. We demonstrate that this sensorimotor choice is modulated by stimulus quality and history, as well as by neuromodulatory systems-all hallmarks of more complex decision making. Moreover, from a genetic screen coupled with whole-genome sequencing, we identified eight mutants with deficits in this sensorimotor choice, including mutants of the vertebrate-specific G-protein-coupled extracellular calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR), whose function in the nervous system is not well understood. We demonstrate that CaSR promotes sensorimotor decision making acutely through Gαi/o and Gαq/11 signaling, modulated by clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Combined, our results identify the first set of genes critical for behavioral choice modulation in a vertebrate and reveal an unexpected critical role for CaSR in sensorimotor decision making.
Keywords: AP2S1; CaSR; behavior choice; calcium-sensing receptor; decision making; genetic screen; startle response; zebrafish.
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