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Neuron. 1999 Oct;24(2):415-25.

Effect of expected reward magnitude on the response of neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of the macaque.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics and Regional Primate Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in guiding actions that ensue seconds after an instruction. We recorded from neurons in area 46 and the frontal eye field (FEF) while monkeys performed a memory-guided eye movement task. A visual cue signaled whether a small or large liquid reward would accompany a correct response. Many neurons in area 46 responded more when the monkey expected a larger reward. Reward-related enhancement was evident throughout the memory period and was most pronounced when the remembered target appeared in the neuron's response field. Enhancement was not present in the FEF. The mixture of neural signals representing spatial working memory and reward expectation appears to be a distinct feature of area 46.

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