Insights from causal manipulations of brain activity depend on targeting the spatial and temporal scale most relevant for behavior. Using a sensitive perceptual decision task in monkeys, we examined the effects of randomly-interleaved, rapid, reversible inactivation on a spatial scale previously achieved only with electrical microstimulation. Inactivating neurons in area MT with consistent direction tuning produced systematic effects on choice and confidence. Behavioral effects were attenuated over the course of each session, suggesting compensatory adjustments in the downstream readout of MT over tens of minutes. Compensation also occurred on a sub-second time scale: behavior was largely unaffected on trials with visual stimuli (and concurrent suppression) longer than ∼350ms. These trends were similar for choice and confidence, consistent with the idea of a common mechanism underlying both measures. The findings demonstrate the utility of hyperpolarizing opsins for linking neural population activity at fine spatial and temporal scales to cognitive functions in primates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)