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Cereb Cortex. 2000 Mar;10(3):295-307.

Emotion, decision making and the orbitofrontal cortex.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, Division of Behavioral Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

Abstract

The somatic marker hypothesis provides a systems-level neuroanatomical and cognitive framework for decision making and the influence on it by emotion. The key idea of this hypothesis is that decision making is a process that is influenced by marker signals that arise in bioregulatory processes, including those that express themselves in emotions and feelings. This influence can occur at multiple levels of operation, some of which occur consciously and some of which occur non-consciously. Here we review studies that confirm various predictions from the hypothesis. The orbitofrontal cortex represents one critical structure in a neural system subserving decision making. Decision making is not mediated by the orbitofrontal cortex alone, but arises from large-scale systems that include other cortical and subcortical components. Such structures include the amygdala, the somatosensory/insular cortices and the peripheral nervous system. Here we focus only on the role of the orbitofrontal cortex in decision making and emotional processing, and the relationship between emotion, decision making and other cognitive functions of the frontal lobe, namely working memory.

PMID:
10731224
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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