Corticostriatal Flow of Action Selection Bias

Neuron. 2019 Dec 18;104(6):1126-1140.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.09.028. Epub 2019 Nov 6.


The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) performs many functions, including decision making and movement control. It remains unknown which input and output pathways of PPC support different functions. We addressed this issue in mice, focusing on PPC neurons projecting to the dorsal striatum (PPC-STR) and the posterior secondary motor cortex (PPC-pM2). Projection-specific, retrograde labeling showed that PPC-STR and PPC-pM2 represent largely distinct subpopulations, with PPC-STR receiving stronger inputs from association areas and PPC-pM2 receiving stronger sensorimotor inputs. Two-photon calcium imaging during decision making revealed that the PPC-STR population encodes history-dependent choice bias more strongly than PPC-pM2 or general PPC populations. Furthermore, optogenetic inactivation of PPC-STR neurons or their terminals in STR decreased history-dependent bias, while inactivation of PPC-pM2 neurons altered movement kinematics. Therefore, PPC biases action selection through its STR projection while controlling movements through PPC-pM2 neurons. PPC may support multiple functions through parallel subpopulations, each with distinct input-output connectivity.

Keywords: choice-outcome history; decision making; internal bias; memory-guided action; posterior parietal cortex; projection-specific function; projection-specific imaging; projection-specific inactivation; projection-specific tracing; sensorimotor control.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corpus Striatum / physiology
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*