During decision making in a changing environment, evidence that may guide the decision accumulates until the point of action. In the rat, provisional choice is thought to be represented in frontal orienting fields (FOF), but this has only been tested in static environments where provisional and final decisions are not easily dissociated. Here, we characterize the representation of accumulated evidence in the FOF of rats performing a recently developed dynamic evidence accumulation task, which induces changes in the provisional decision, referred to as “changes of mind”. We find that FOF encodes evidence throughout decision formation with a temporal gain modulation that rises until the period when the animal may need to act. Furthermore, reversals in FOF firing rates can be accounted for by changes of mind predicted using a model of the decision process fit only to behavioral data. Our results suggest that the FOF represents provisional decisions even in dynamic, uncertain environments, allowing for rapid motor execution when it is time to act.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)