A neural correlate of response bias in monkey caudate nucleus

Johan Lauwereyns, Katsumi Watanabe, Brian Coe, Okihide Hikosaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

309 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Primates are equipped with neural circuits in the prefrontal cortex, the parietal cortex and the basal ganglia that predict the availability of reward during the performance of behavioural tasks. It is not known, however, how reward value is incorporated in the control of action. Here we identify neurons in the monkey caudate nucleus that create a spatially selective response bias depending on the expected gain. In behavioural tasks, the monkey had to make a visually guided eye movement in every trial, but was rewarded for a correct response in only half of the trials. Reward availability was predictable on the basis of the spatial position of the visual target. We found that caudate neurons change their discharge rate systematically, even before the appearance of the visual target, and usually fire more when the contralateral position is associated with reward. Strong anticipatory activity of neurons with a contralateral preference is associated with decreased latency for eye movements in the contralateral direction. We conclude that this neuronal mechanism creates an advance bias that favours a spatial response when it is associated with a high reward value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-417
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume418
Issue number6896
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jul 25
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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