Neural circuits underlying flexible behaviour

In order to survive, animals must flexibly update their behaviour in response to changes in the environment. This ability to adapt ongoing behaviour is one of the most fundamental of cognitive processes, yet its underlying neural mechanisms remain poorly understood. The framework of predictive processing provides a simple yet powerful way of describing flexible behaviour. Animals detect discrepancies between predicted and observed events, a ‘prediction-error’. The prediction-error guides updating of the animal’s model of the world and thus its ongoing behaviour. While this account has widespread support across humans, monkeys and rodents, the neural circuit basis of this process is largely unknown. In this talk, I will describe my lab’s recent results from studying mouse prefrontal cortex to address the following question: What neural circuits enable animals to compute prediction-errors, and flexibly adapt their behaviour?


Adil Khan is a group leader and a Sir Henry Dale Wellcome Trust Fellow at King’s College London (Centre for Developmental Neurobiology). His lab is interested in studying the neural circuit basis of flexible behaviour and attention in mice.