Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: A circuit mechanism for decision making biases and NMDA receptor hypofunction


Cavanagh, Sean et al. (2020), Data from: A circuit mechanism for decision making biases and NMDA receptor hypofunction, Dryad, Dataset,


Decision-making biases can be features of normal behaviour, or deficits underlying neuropsychiatric symptoms. We used behavioural psychophysics, spiking-circuit modelling and pharmacological manipulations to explore decision-making biases during evidence integration. Monkeys showed a pro-variance bias (PVB): a preference to choose options with more variable evidence. The PVB was also present in a spiking circuit model, revealing a potential neural mechanism for this behaviour. To model possible effects of NMDA receptor (NMDA-R) antagonism on this behaviour, we simulated the effects of NMDA-R hypofunction onto either excitatory or inhibitory neurons in the model. These were then tested experimentally using the NMDA-R antagonist ketamine, a pharmacological model of schizophrenia. Ketamine yielded an increase in subjects' PVB consistent with lowered cortical excitation/inhibition balance from NMDA-R hypofunction predominantly onto excitatory neurons. These results provide a circuit-level mechanism that bridges across explanatory scales, from the synaptic to the behavioural, in neuropsychiatric disorders where decision-making biases are prominent.

Usage Notes

This ZIP archive contains the raw data for reproducing the analyses in the paper. To access the analysis codes, please see the GitHub repository link in the main paper.  The GitHub repository also contains a ReadMe file. 


National Institute of Mental Health, Award: R01MH112746

Wellcome Trust, Award: 098830/Z/12/Z

Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

National Institute for Health Research Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre

Middlesex Hospital Medical School General Charitable Trust

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Wellcome Trust, Award: 096689/Z/11/Z

Wellcome Trust, Award: 208789/Z/17/Z

Middlesex Hospital Medical School General Charitable Trust