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Neuron. 2014 Jun 18;82(6):1357-66. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.04.032. Epub 2014 May 29.

Reward value comparison via mutual inhibition in ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA. Electronic address: cstrait@bcs.rochester.edu.
2
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.

Abstract

Recent theories suggest that reward-based choice reflects competition between value signals in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We tested this idea by recording vmPFC neurons while macaques performed a gambling task with asynchronous offer presentation. We found that neuronal activity shows four patterns consistent with selection via mutual inhibition: (1) correlated tuning for probability and reward size, suggesting that vmPFC carries an integrated value signal; (2) anti-correlated tuning curves for the two options, suggesting mutual inhibition; (3) neurons rapidly come to signal the value of the chosen offer, suggesting the circuit serves to produce a choice; and (4) after regressing out the effects of option values, firing rates still could predict choice-a choice probability signal. In addition, neurons signaled gamble outcomes, suggesting that vmPFC contributes to both monitoring and choice processes. These data suggest a possible mechanism for reward-based choice and endorse the centrality of vmPFC in that process.

PMID:
24881835
PMCID:
PMC4086796
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2014.04.032
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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