Brain-wide neural circuits for sensory-guided behavior

Auditory-guided behavior is ubiquitous in everyday life, whenever auditory information is used to guide the decisions we make and the actions we take. One such behavior is auditory categorization, a process that reflects the ability to transform bottom-up sensory stimuli into discrete perceptual categories and use these perceptual categories to drive a subsequent action. Although this process is well-documented at the behavioral and cognitive levels, surprisingly little is known about the explicit neural circuit mechanisms that underlie categorical computation and how the result of this computation drives behavioral outcomes. We believe that the transformation of auditory information into an appropriate behavioral response is necessarily a brain-wide endeavor. The deep layers of the auditory cortex give rise to several massive projection systems that exert influence over many downstream brain areas. Here, I will discuss our efforts towards understanding the organization of these projection systems and how they differentially contribute to auditory-guided behavior.