Sensory and Behavioral Components of Neocortical Signal Flow in Discrimination Tasks with Short-Term Memory

Yasir Gallero-Salas, Shuting Han, Yaroslav Sych, Fabian F. Voigt, Balazs Laurenczy, Ariel Gilad*, Fritjof Helmchen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In the neocortex, each sensory modality engages distinct sensory areas that route information to association areas. Where signal flow converges for maintaining information in short-term memory and how behavior may influence signal routing remain open questions. Using wide-field calcium imaging, we compared cortex-wide neuronal activity in layer 2/3 for mice trained in auditory and tactile tasks with delayed response. In both tasks, mice were either active or passive during stimulus presentation, moving their body or sitting quietly. Irrespective of behavioral strategy, auditory and tactile stimulation activated distinct subdivisions of the posterior parietal cortex, anterior area A and rostrolateral area RL, which held stimulus-related information necessary for the respective tasks. In the delay period, in contrast, behavioral strategy rather than sensory modality determined short-term memory location, with activity converging frontomedially in active trials and posterolaterally in passive trials. Our results suggest behavior-dependent routing of sensory-driven cortical signals flow from modality-specific posterior parietal cortex (PPC) subdivisions to higher association areas.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)135-148.e6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 6 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • association cortex
  • auditory cortex
  • barrel cortex
  • behavioral strategy
  • motor cortex
  • mouse
  • posterior parietal cortex
  • short-term memory
  • wide-field calcium imaging


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