Flexible decision under ambiguous cues reverses neural signaling from occipitotemporal to prefrontal cortex
Flexible adaptation to changing environments is one of the representative executive control functions, and requires appropriate extraction of environmental information to achieve a behavioral goal. It still remains unclear however, how the behavioral flexibility is guided under situations where the relevant behavior is ambiguous. Using functional brain mapping of machine-learning decoders and directional functional connectivity, we show that brain-wide reversible neural signaling underpins
... ling underpins behavioral flexibility in ambiguously changing environments. When relevant behavior is cued ambiguously during behavioral shifting, neural coding of the behavior is attenuated in distributed cortical regions, but top-down signals from the prefrontal cortex complements the coding. On the other hand, when shifting to the alternative behavior is cued more explicitly, modality-specialized occipitotemporal regions implement distinct neural coding about the relevant behavior, and bottom-up signals from the occipitotemporal region to the prefrontal cortex supplements the behavioral shift. These results suggest that our adaptation to an ever-changing world is orchestrated by the alternation of top-down and bottom-up signaling in the fronto-occipitotemporal circuit depending on the availability of environmental evidences.