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J Physiol Paris. 2015 Feb-Jun;109(1-3):70-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2014.06.002. Epub 2014 Jun 19.

Economic risk coding by single neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DY, UK. Electronic address: oneillmartin007@gmail.com.
2
Department of Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DY, UK. Electronic address: ws234@cam.ac.uk.

Abstract

Risk is a ubiquitous feature of the environment for all organisms. Very few things in life are achieved with absolute certainty. Therefore, it is essential that organisms process risky information efficiently to promote adaptive behaviour and enhance survival. Here we outline a clear definition of economic risk derived from economic theory and focus on two experiments in which we have shown subpopulations of single neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex of rhesus macaques that code either economic risk per se or an error-related risk signal, namely a risk prediction error. These biological risk signals are essential for processing and updating risky information in the environment to contribute to efficient decision making and adaptive behaviour.

KEYWORDS:

Economic; Orbitofrontal cortex; Prediction error; Risk; Uncertainty

PMID:
24954027
PMCID:
PMC4451954
DOI:
10.1016/j.jphysparis.2014.06.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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