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Studies of perceptual decision-making have often assumed that the main role of sensory cortices is to provide sensory input to downstream processes that accumulate and drive behavioral decisions. We performed a systematic comparison of neural activity in primary visual (V1) to secondary visual and retrosplenial cortices, as mice performed a task where they should accumulate pulsatile visual cues through time to inform a navigational decision. Even in V1, only a small fraction of neurons had sensory-like responses to cues. Instead, in all areas neurons were sequentially active, and contained information ranging from sensory to cognitive, including cue timings, evidence, place/time, decision and reward outcome. Per-cue sensory responses were amplitude-modulated by various cognitive quantities, notably accumulated evidence. This inspired a multiplicative feedback-loop circuit hypothesis that proposes a more intricate role of sensory areas in the accumulation process, and furthermore explains a surprising observation that perceptual discrimination deviates from Weber-Fechner Law.Highlights / eTOC BlurbMice made navigational decisions based on accumulating pulsatile visual cuesThe bulk of neural activity in visual cortices was sequential and beyond-sensoryAccumulated pulse-counts modulated sensory (cue) responses, suggesting feedbackA feedback-loop neural circuit explains behavioral deviations from Weber’s LawHighlights / eTOC BlurbIn a task where navigation was informed by accumulated pulsatile visual evidence, neural activity in visual cortices predominantly coded for cognitive variables across multiple timescales, including outside of a visual processing context. Even sensory responses to visual pulses were amplitude-modulated by accumulated pulse counts and other variables, inspiring a multiplicative feedback-loop circuit hypothesis that in turn explained behavioral deviations from Weber-Fechner Law.