Cerebellar involvement in an evidence-accumulation decision-making task

Elife. 2018 Aug 13;7:e36781. doi: 10.7554/eLife.36781.


To make successful evidence-based decisions, the brain must rapidly and accurately transform sensory inputs into specific goal-directed behaviors. Most experimental work on this subject has focused on forebrain mechanisms. Using a novel evidence-accumulation task for mice, we performed recording and perturbation studies of crus I of the lateral posterior cerebellum, which communicates bidirectionally with numerous forebrain regions. Cerebellar inactivation led to a reduction in the fraction of correct trials. Using two-photon fluorescence imaging of calcium, we found that Purkinje cell somatic activity contained choice/evidence-related information. Decision errors were represented by dendritic calcium spikes, which in other contexts are known to drive cerebellar plasticity. We propose that cerebellar circuitry may contribute to computations that support accurate performance in this perceptual decision-making task.

Keywords: cerebellum; decision-making; evidence accumulation; mouse; neuroscience; working memory.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Perception*