We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data. We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.


Choosing More Than Cheese: Mice Are Closer to Primates than Rats in Decision Making

Listen with
Register for free to listen to this article
Thank you. Listen to this article using the player above.

Want to listen to this article for FREE?

Complete the form below to unlock access to ALL audio articles.

Read time: Less than a minute

Mice can be used to study the neural circuits underlying complex decision-making, suggests an analysis of more than 500,000 mouse decisions reported in JNeurosci.

Some of the most advanced tools in neuroscience are developed for use with mice, yet studies of behaviors most relevant to humans typically involve other model organisms. Anne Churchland and colleagues addressed this gap by investigating the mouse's potential as an animal model of decision-making.

The researchers trained a large group of mice to distinguish between high and low rates of flashing light and found that the animals employed a decision-making strategy more similar to that used by nonhuman primates than rats. They also identified a brain region that may be part of a circuit supporting this strategy. The research paves the way for manipulation of such a circuit, to be further defined in the future, with powerful techniques to probe its structure and function.

This article has been republished from materials provided by the Society for Neuroscience. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Reference: Odoemene, O., Pisupati, S., Nguyen, H., & Churchland, A. K. (2018). Visual evidence accumulation guides decision-making in unrestrained mice. Journal of Neuroscience, 3478–17. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3478-17.2018