Synaptic wiring motifs in posterior parietal cortex support decision-making

Wei-Chung Lee
Harvard Medical School

The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) exhibits choice-selective activity during perceptual decision-making tasks. However, it is not known how this selective activity arises from the underlying synaptic connectivity. Here, we combined virtual reality behavior, two-photon calcium imaging, high throughput electron microscopy, and circuit modeling to analyze how synaptic connectivity between neurons in PPC relates to their selective activity. We found that excitatory pyramidal neurons preferentially target inhibitory interneurons with the same selectivity. In turn, inhibitory interneurons preferentially target pyramidal neurons with opposite selectivity, forming an opponent inhibition motif. Using circuit models, we show that opponent inhibition between neural populations with opposite selectivity amplifies selective inputs, thereby improving the encoding of trial-type information. These results provide evidence for how synaptic connectivity in cortical circuits supports a learned decision-making task.

Presentation (PDF File)

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