IMR Press / JIN / Volume 20 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin2004095
Open Access Original Research
Avian nidopallium caudolaterale mediates decision-making during goal-directed navigation
Xinyu Liu1,2,*,†Yang Yang3,†Yanna Ping1,2Kun Zhao4Dongyun Wang1,2Hang Xie1,2,*
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1 School of Intelligent Manufacturing, Huanghuai University, 463000 Zhumadian, Henan, China
2 Henan Engineering Reseacrh Center of Intelligent Human-Machine Interaction Equipment, Huanghuai University, 463000 Zhumadian, Henan, China
3 Department of Neurosurgery, Zhumadian Central Hospital, 463000 Zhumadian, Henan, China
4 School of Electrical Engineering, Zhengzhou University, 450001 Zhengzhou, Henan, China
*Correspondence: (Xinyu Liu); (Hang Xie)
These authors contributed equally.
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2021, 20(4), 945–954;
Submitted: 3 August 2021 | Revised: 7 November 2021 | Accepted: 26 November 2021 | Published: 30 December 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Previous work demonstrates that nidopallium caudolaterale, which is considered to be an analog of the mammalian prefrontal cortex, participates in goal-directed navigation in pigeons. However, its role remains unclear. To clarify its role, two goal-directed navigation tasks in plus-maze were designed, in which the goal location of one is random, and the other is fixed, i.e., the random-goal task and the fixed-goal task. The animals were trained to run from the starting location to the goal location in accordance with the cue in the plus-maze. The goal location is variable for the random-goal task but unchanged for the fixed-goal task. The results have demonstrated that the time point of nidopallium caudolaterale neuron response is consistent with decision-making. During the decision-making, the firing rates significantly increased in two tasks, which can also decode the direction of upcoming movement in the random-goal task. However, the location of decision-making is different between the tasks mentioned above. The decision-making window is at the intersection in the random-goal task, which is a departure in the fixed-goal task. In addition, these results also provide evidence that the neural activities obtained from the nidopallium caudolaterale may contain the decision-making information during goal-directed navigation. These results suggest that the avian nidopallium caudolaterale and the mammalian prefrontal cortex may play a similar role in goal-directed spatial decision-making. Additionally, these also may provide some support to understand the neural mechanism of decision-making for different species.

Nidopallium Caudolaterale
Goal-directed navigation
Prefrontal cortex
Fig. 1.
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