Send to

Choose Destination
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 May;1104:21-34. Epub 2007 Mar 7.

Should I stay or should I go? Transformation of time-discounted rewards in orbitofrontal cortex and associated brain circuits.

Author information

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Animals prefer a small, immediate reward over a larger delayed reward (time discounting). Lesions of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) can either increase or decrease the breakpoint at which animals abandon the large delayed reward for the more immediate reward as the delay becomes longer. Here we argue that the varied effects of OFC lesions on delayed discounting reflect two different patterns of activity in OFC; one that bridges the gap between a response and an outcome and another that discounts delayed reward. These signals appear to reflect the spatial location of the reward and/or the action taken to obtain it, and are encoded independently from representations of absolute value. We suggest a dual role for output from OFC in both discounting delayed reward, while at the same time supporting new learning for them.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center