Piercesare Grimaldi, University of California

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Event date: 21/12/2016

Thursday, 22nd December - h 2:00 p.m.
Seminars Room, NICO

Unraveling the machanisms recognition and decision in the macaque

Prof. Piercesare Grimaldi
University of California, Los Angeles - Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

One of the main functions of the brain is to take decisions about what is happening in the external world, for instance, deciding if what see is a face or a vase. To accomplish this, the brain developed specific areas to recognize specific object categories. One of these categories are faces, that in the macaque are recognized by small patches of cortex that respond selectively to faces. There are six face patches in the temporal lobe of the macaque brain. We studied the anatomical connectivity of the face patches and found that these form a remarkably interconnected and segregated circuit.

However, decisions are usually encoded differently depending on the reporting modality. For instance if the decision is reported with eye movements the decision is encoded in the frontal eye field, the lateral intraparietal area or the superior colliculus. Furthermore decisions are accompanied by a subjective sense of confidence, that may be encoded in the same areas that encode the decision or not. We recorded in the superior colliculus during a simple perceptual decision task and found that whereas the colliculus encodes decision it doesn’t carry information about confidence.  

Host: Annalisa Buffo