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Cortical topography of intracortical inhibition influences the speed of decision making

Wilimzig, Claudia and Ragert, Patrick and Dinse, Hubert R. (2012) Cortical topography of intracortical inhibition influences the speed of decision making. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109 (8). pp. 3107-3112. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC3286921. doi:10.1073/pnas.1114250109.

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The neocortex contains orderly topographic maps; however, their functional role remains controversial. Theoretical studies have suggested a role in minimizing computational costs, whereas empirical studies have focused on spatial localization. Using a tactile multiple-choice reaction time (RT) task before and after the induction of perceptual learning through repetitive sensory stimulation, we extend the framework of cortical topographies by demonstrating that the topographic arrangement of intracortical inhibition contributes to the speed of human perceptual decision-making processes. RTs differ among fingers, displaying an inverted U-shaped function. Simulations using neural fields show the inverted U-shaped RT distribution as an emergent consequence of lateral inhibition. Weakening inhibition through learning shortens RTs, which is modeled through topographically reorganized inhibition. Whereas changes in decision making are often regarded as an outcome of higher cortical areas, our data show that the spatial layout of interaction processes within representational maps contributes to selection and decision-making processes.

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Additional Information:© 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. Freely available online through the PNAS open access option. Edited by Terrence J. Sejnowski, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA, and approved January 10, 2012 (received for review August 30, 2011). We thank Richard Andersen, Christof Koch, and several attendees of the Cosyne Conference 2008 in Salt Lake City for helpful comments, and Tobias Kalisch for participation in some of the experiments. We acknowledge support from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (German National Merit Foundation) and The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (to C.W.), the International Graduate School of Neuroscience at the Ruhr-University Bochum (to P.R.), and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Di 334/10) and the Bundesministerium fur Bildung und Forschung, BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) Bernstein Focus “State Dependencies of Learning” (to H.R.D.). Author contributions: C.W., P.R., and H.R.D. designed research, performed research, analyzed data, and wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Studienstiftung des Deutschen VolkesUNSPECIFIED
Alexander von Humboldt FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Ruhr-University BochumUNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)Di 334/10
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:computational neuroscience; plasticity; cortical reorganization
Issue or Number:8
PubMed Central ID:PMC3286921
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120314-152851555
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Official Citation: Claudia Wilimzig, Patrick Ragert, and Hubert R. Dinse Cortical topography of intracortical inhibition influences the speed of decision making PNAS 2012 109 (8) 3107-3112; published ahead of print February 6, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1114250109
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:29727
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:15 Mar 2012 14:54
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 19:28

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