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, 105 (1), 165-179.e8

Excitatory and Inhibitory Subnetworks Are Equally Selective During Decision-Making and Emerge Simultaneously During Learning

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Excitatory and Inhibitory Subnetworks Are Equally Selective During Decision-Making and Emerge Simultaneously During Learning

Farzaneh Najafi et al. Neuron.

Abstract

Inhibitory neurons, which play a critical role in decision-making models, are often simplified as a single pool of non-selective neurons lacking connection specificity. This assumption is supported by observations in the primary visual cortex: inhibitory neurons are broadly tuned in vivo and show non-specific connectivity in slice. The selectivity of excitatory and inhibitory neurons within decision circuits and, hence, the validity of decision-making models are unknown. We simultaneously measured excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the posterior parietal cortex of mice judging multisensory stimuli. Surprisingly, excitatory and inhibitory neurons were equally selective for the animal's choice, both at the single-cell and population level. Further, both cell types exhibited similar changes in selectivity and temporal dynamics during learning, paralleling behavioral improvements. These observations, combined with modeling, argue against circuit architectures assuming non-selective inhibitory neurons. Instead, they argue for selective subnetworks of inhibitory and excitatory neurons that are shaped by experience to support expert decision-making.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Interests

There are no competing interests.

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