Neuron. 2022 Apr 7:S0896-6273(22)00258-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2022.03.022. Online ahead of print.
Perceptual decisions arise through the transformation of samples of evidence into a commitment to a proposition or plan of action. Such transformation is thought to involve cortical circuits capable of computation over timescales associated with working memory, attention, and planning. Neurons in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) play a role in these functions, and much of what is known about the neurobiology of decision-making has been influenced by studies of LIP and its network of connections. However, the causal role of LIP remains controversial. In this study, we used pharmacological and chemogenetic methods to inactivate LIP in one brain hemisphere of four rhesus monkeys. This inactivation produced biases in decisions, but the effects dissipated despite persistent neural inactivation, implying compensation by unaffected areas. Compensation occurred rapidly within an experimental session and more gradually across sessions. These findings resolve disparate studies and inform the interpretation of focal perturbations of brain function.