Adaptive brain computations for perceptual decisions

On Thursday, March 24, at 4 pm Prof. Dr. Zoe Kourtzi is talking about "Adaptive brain computations for perceptual decisions"


Understanding the world around us depends on the brain resolving ambiguous information from our senses to inform our decisions and actions. The brain learns to interpret sensory signals by using past experience to optimize perceptual decisions. But how does practice mold the adult human brain and result in improved decisions? We combine ultra high-field functional and neurochemical brain imaging with computational modeling to interrogate the fine-scale human brain circuits that support learning for perceptual decisions. We provide evidence for interactions between subcortical and cortical circuits that gate sensory plasticity and perceptual decision making. We show that thalamocortical-cortical plasticity mediates gain control in visual cortex for detecting objects in clutter, while occipital-parietal interactions mediate fine feature retuning through GABAergic inhibition and recurrent processing in visual cortex. Our findings provide first insights in bridging the gap between animal work on micro-circuits of sensory plasticity and human imaging of macro-scale network plasticity.