Behavioral experience and flexibility are crucial for survival in a constantly changing environment. What are the neuronal processes that selectively transform dynamic sensory information into an appropriate behavioral response, and how do these processes adapt to changes in the environment? Here, we use voltage imaging to measure signals in primary somatosensory cortex (S1) during sensory learning and behavioral adaptation in the mouse. We found that in response to changing sensory stimulus statistics, mice adopt a task strategy that modifies their detection behavior in a context dependent manner as to maintain reward expectation. Correspondingly, neuronal activity in S1 shifts from simply representing stimulus properties to adaptively representing stimulus context in an experience dependent manner. Our results suggest that neuronal signals in S1 are part of an adaptive and dynamic framework that facilitates flexible behavior as an individual gains experience.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience