A Brain-Wide Map of Neural Activity during Complex Behaviour


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A key challenge in neuroscience is understanding how neurons in hundreds of interconnected brain regions integrate sensory inputs with prior expectations to initiate movements. It has proven difficult to meet this challenge when different laboratories apply different analyses to different recordings in different regions during different behaviours. Here, we report a comprehensive set of recordings from 115 mice in 11 labs performing a decision-making task with sensory, motor, and cognitive components, obtained with 547 Neuropixels probe insertions covering 267 brain areas in the left forebrain and midbrain and the right hindbrain and cerebellum. We provide an initial appraisal of this brain-wide map, assessing how neural activity encodes key task variables. Representations of visual stimuli appeared transiently in classical visual areas after stimulus onset and then spread to ramp-like activity in a collection of mid- and hindbrain regions that also encoded choices. Neural responses correlated with motor action almost everywhere in the brain. Responses to reward delivery and consumption versus reward omission were also widespread. Representations of objective prior expectations were weaker, found in sparse sets of neurons from restricted regions. This publicly available dataset represents an unprecedented resource for understanding how computations distributed across and within brain areas drive behaviour. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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