Dendritic Integration of Sensory Evidence in Perceptual Decision-Making

Lukas N Groschner, Laura Chan Wah Hak, Rafal Bogacz, Shamik DasGupta*, Gero Miesenböck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Perceptual decisions require the accumulation of sensory information to a response criterion. Most accounts of how the brain performs this process of temporal integration have focused on evolving patterns of spiking activity. We report that subthreshold changes in membrane voltage can represent accumulating evidence before a choice. αβ core Kenyon cells (αβc KCs) in the mushroom bodies of fruit flies integrate odor-evoked synaptic inputs to action potential threshold at timescales matching the speed of olfactory discrimination. The forkhead box P transcription factor (FoxP) sets neuronal integration and behavioral decision times by controlling the abundance of the voltage-gated potassium channel Shal (KV4) in αβc KC dendrites. αβc KCs thus tailor, through a particular constellation of biophysical properties, the generic process of synaptic integration to the demands of sequential sampling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-905.e13
Number of pages26
Issue number4
Early online date26 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2018


  • Action Potentials/drug effects
  • Animals
  • Barium/pharmacology
  • Behavior, Animal/drug effects
  • Brain/metabolism
  • Cyclohexanols/pharmacology
  • Dendrites/metabolism
  • Drosophila/physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins/genetics
  • Female
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors/genetics
  • Male
  • Neurons/cytology
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Receptors, Odorant/metabolism
  • Shal Potassium Channels/genetics
  • Smell
  • Synapses/metabolism


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