Send to

Choose Destination
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Dec;1239:118-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.06290.x.

Contributions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to goal-directed action selection.

Author information

Computation and Neural Systems, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


In this article, it will be argued that one of the key contributions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) to goal-directed action selection lies both in retrieving the value of goals that are the putative outcomes of the decision process and in establishing a relative preference ranking for these goals by taking into account the value of each of the different goals under consideration in a given decision-making scenario. These goal-value signals are then suggested to be used as an input into the on-line computation of action values mediated by brain regions outside of the vmPFC, such as parts of the parietal cortex, supplementary motor cortex, and dorsal striatum. Collectively, these areas can be considered to be constituent elements of a multistage decision process whereby the values of different goals must first be represented and ranked before the value of different courses of action available for the pursuit of those goals can be computed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center