Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Neuron. 2015 Feb 18;85(4):874-85. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.12.054. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

Automatic versus Choice-Dependent Value Representations in the Human Brain.

Author information

1
Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research (SNS Lab), Department of Economics, University of Zurich, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland. Electronic address: marcus.grueschow@econ.uzh.ch.
2
Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research (SNS Lab), Department of Economics, University of Zurich, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland.
3
Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research (SNS Lab), Department of Economics, University of Zurich, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland. Electronic address: christian.ruff@econ.uzh.ch.

Abstract

The subjective values of choice options can impact on behavior in two fundamentally different types of situations: first, when people explicitly base their actions on such values, and second, when values attract attention despite being irrelevant for current behavior. Here we show with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that these two behavioral functions of values are encoded in distinct regions of the human brain. In the medial prefrontal cortex, value-related activity is enhanced when subjective value becomes choice-relevant, and the magnitude of this increase relates directly to the outcome and reliability of the value-based choice. In contrast, activity in the posterior cingulate cortex represents values similarly when they are relevant or irrelevant for the present choice, and the strength of this representation predicts attentional capture by choice-irrelevant values. Our results suggest that distinct components of the brain's valuation network encode value in context-dependent manners that serve fundamentally different behavioral aims.

PMID:
25640078
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2014.12.054
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center