For midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons to respond to sensory events, the presence of a stimulus must first be detected. Where is the signal that activates DA neurons coming from? Here we show that DA responses to a vibrotactile stimulus lag significantly behind those of the primary somatosensory cortex, but they arise with a latency that closely matches the onset of premotor neurons known to encode perceptual decisions. In agreement with previous findings, these data suggest that sensory evoked DA activity does not signal a stimulus physical presence but arises from the output of a perceptual decision.
Última actualización: 21/10/2016