Flexible control of representational dynamics in a disinhibition-based model of decision-making

Bo Shen, Kenway Louie, Paul Glimcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Inhibition is crucial for brain function, regulating network activity by balancing excitation and implementing gain control. Recent evidence suggests that beyond simply inhibiting excitatory activity, inhibitory neurons can also shape circuit function through disinhibition. While disinhibitory circuit motifs have been implicated in cognitive processes, including learning, attentional selection, and input gating, the role of disinhibition is largely unexplored in the study of decision-making. Here, we show that disinhibition provides a simple circuit motif for fast, dynamic control of network state and function. This dynamic control allows a disinhibition-based decision model to reproduce both value normalization and winner-take-all dynamics, the two central features of neurobiological decision-making captured in separate existing models with distinct circuit motifs. In addition, the disinhibition model exhibits flexible attractor dynamics consistent with different forms of persistent activity seen in working memory. Fitting the model to empirical data shows it captures well both the neurophysiological dynamics of value coding and psychometric choice behavior. Furthermore, the biological basis of disinhibition provides a simple mechanism for flexible top-down control of the network states, enabling the circuit to capture diverse task-dependent neural dynamics. These results suggest a biologically plausible unifying mechanism for decision-making and emphasize the importance of local disinhibition in neural processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere82426
JournaleLife
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology

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