Neural implementation of Bayesian inference in a sensorimotor behavior.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Actions are guided by a Bayesian-like interaction between priors based on experience and current sensory evidence. Here we unveil a complete neural implementation of Bayesian-like behavior, including adaptation of a prior. We recorded the spiking of single neurons in the smooth eye-movement region of the frontal eye fields (FEFSEM), a region that is causally involved in smooth-pursuit eye movements. Monkeys tracked moving targets in contexts that set different priors for target speed. Before the onset of target motion, preparatory activity encodes and adapts in parallel with the behavioral adaptation of the prior. During the initiation of pursuit, FEFSEM output encodes a maximum a posteriori estimate of target speed based on a reliability-weighted combination of the prior and sensory evidence. FEFSEM responses during pursuit are sufficient both to adapt a prior that may be stored in FEFSEM and, through known downstream pathways, to cause Bayesian-like behavior in pursuit.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Darlington, TR; Beck, JM; Lisberger, SG

Published Date

  • October 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1442 - 1451

PubMed ID

  • 30224803

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6312195

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1546-1726

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41593-018-0233-y


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States