Precisely wired neuronal circuits process sensory information in a learning- and context-dependent manner in order to govern behavior. Simple sensory decision-making tasks in rodents are now beginning to reveal the contributions of distinct cell types and brain regions participating in the conversion of sensory information into learned goal-directed motor output. Task learning is accompanied by target specific routing of sensory information to specific downstream cortical regions, with higher-order cortical regions such as the posterior parietal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus appearing to play important roles in learning- and context-dependent processing of sensory input. An important challenge for future research is to connect cell-type-specific activity in these brain regions with motor neurons responsible for action initiation.