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Neocortical circuits underlying visually-guided behaviors in mice.

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "CortexVisionBehavior" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: LONDON
postcode: WC1E 6BT
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 183˙454 €
 EC max contribution 183˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-03-17   to  2018-03-16


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON UK (LONDON) coordinator 183˙454.00


 Project objective

Many of our most common behaviors, such as reaching out to grasp an object or turning towards something of interest, require that we transform visual information into a representation that guides action. In humans and other mammals, key steps in this transformation take place in the cerebral cortex, by the cooperative action of multiple cortical areas. How does this cooperation occur? The classical hypothesis holds that cortical areas act in series, each performing a unique step of the transformation and passing on the result, like workers on an assembly line. In an alternative hypothesis the transformation occurs in a distributed fashion, with multiple cortical areas participating jointly in each step. In this hypothesis each area may function more like people lifting a table together by its sides.

To test these competing hypotheses, I propose to record simultaneously from populations of neurons in six key cortical areas in mice performing a visual discrimination task. The task is designed to separate and quantify the contributions of each area to visual perception, decision-making, and action. The results will distinguish between the two competing hypotheses and reveal the distinct – or shared – roles of each cortical area. Then, I will put these conclusions to the test by silencing neurons in each of three areas and comparing the effects of inactivation on behavior. Together these experiments will reveal the fundamental mechanisms of how cortical circuits cooperate to produce visually-guided behaviors.

I will perform these experiments in the Cortical Processing Laboratory at University College London, led by Kenneth Harris and Matteo Carandini.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Christopher P. Burgess, Armin Lak, Nicholas A. Steinmetz, Peter Zatka-Haas, Charu Bai Reddy, Elina A.K. Jacobs, Jennifer F. Linden, Joseph J. Paton, Adam Ranson, Sylvia Schröder, Sofia Soares, Miles J. Wells, Lauren E. Wool, Kenneth D. Harris, Matteo Carandini
High-Yield Methods for Accurate Two-Alternative Visual Psychophysics in Head-Fixed Mice
published pages: 2513-2524, ISSN: 2211-1247, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.08.047
Cell Reports 20/10 2019-06-13
2017 Nicholas A. Steinmetz, Christina Buetfering, Jerome Lecoq, Christian R. Lee, Andrew J. Peters, Elina A. K. Jacobs, Philip Coen, Douglas R. Ollerenshaw, Matthew T. Valley, Saskia E. J. de Vries, Marina Garrett, Jun Zhuang, Peter A. Groblewski, Sahar Manavi, Jesse Miles, Casey White, Eric Lee, Fiona Griffin, Joshua D. Larkin, Kate Roll, Sissy Cross, Thuyanh V. Nguyen, Rachael Larsen, Julie Pendergraft, Tanya Daigle, Bosiljka Tasic, Carol L. Thompson, Jack Waters, Shawn Olsen, David J. Margolis, Hongkui Zeng, Michael Hausser, Matteo Carandini, Kenneth D. Harris
Aberrant Cortical Activity in Multiple GCaMP6-Expressing Transgenic Mouse Lines
published pages: ENEURO.0207-17.2, ISSN: 2373-2822, DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0207-17.2017
eneuro 4/5 2019-06-13
2017 James J. Jun, Nicholas A. Steinmetz, Joshua H. Siegle, Daniel J. Denman, Marius Bauza, Brian Barbarits, Albert K. Lee, Costas A. Anastassiou, Alexandru Andrei, Çağatay Aydın, Mladen Barbic, Timothy J. Blanche, Vincent Bonin, João Couto, Barundeb Dutta, Sergey L. Gratiy, Diego A. Gutnisky, Michael Häusser, Bill Karsh, Peter Ledochowitsch, Carolina Mora Lopez, Catalin Mitelut, Silke Musa, Michael Okun, Marius Pachitariu, Jan Putzeys, P. Dylan Rich, Cyrille Rossant, Wei-lung Sun, Karel Svoboda, Matteo Carandini, Kenneth D. Harris, Christof Koch, John O’Keefe, Timothy D. Harris
Fully integrated silicon probes for high-density recording of neural activity
published pages: 232-236, ISSN: 0028-0836, DOI: 10.1038/nature24636
Nature 551/7679 2019-06-13
2018 Nicholas A Steinmetz, Christof Koch, Kenneth D Harris, Matteo Carandini
Challenges and opportunities for large-scale electrophysiology with Neuropixels probes
published pages: 92-100, ISSN: 0959-4388, DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.01.009
Current Opinion in Neurobiology 50 2019-06-13

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