Are choice probabilities explained by serial dependencies?

Our paper “Can serial dependencies in choices and neural activity explain choice probabilities?” by Jan-Matthis, Jakob, and Hendrikje Nienborg has been accepted to Journal of Neuroscience and is available online.

Correlations, unexplained by the sensory input, between the activity of sensory neurons and an animal’s perceptual choice (“choice probabilities”) have received attention from both a systems and computational neuroscience perspective. Conversely, while temporal correlations for both spiking activity (“non-stationarities”) and for a subject’s choices in perceptual tasks (“serial dependencies”) have long been established, they have typically been ignored when measuring choice probabilities. Some accounts of choice probabilities incorporating feedback predict that these observations are linked. Here, we explore the extent to which this is the case. We find that, contrasting with these predictions, choice probabilities are largely independent of serial dependencies, which adds new constraints to accounts of choice probabilities that include feedback.