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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Apr 21;112(16):5195-200. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1503550112. Epub 2015 Apr 6.

Identity-specific coding of future rewards in the human orbitofrontal cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611; and.
2
Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Zurich 8006, Switzerland.
3
Department of Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611; and thorsten.kahnt@northwestern.edu.

Abstract

Nervous systems must encode information about the identity of expected outcomes to make adaptive decisions. However, the neural mechanisms underlying identity-specific value signaling remain poorly understood. By manipulating the value and identity of appetizing food odors in a pattern-based imaging paradigm of human classical conditioning, we were able to identify dissociable predictive representations of identity-specific reward in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and identity-general reward in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Reward-related functional coupling between OFC and olfactory (piriform) cortex and between vmPFC and amygdala revealed parallel pathways that support identity-specific and -general predictive signaling. The demonstration of identity-specific value representations in OFC highlights a role for this region in model-based behavior and reveals mechanisms by which appetitive behavior can go awry.

KEYWORDS:

associative learning; multivoxel pattern analysis; olfaction; reward value; ventromedial prefrontal cortex

PMID:
25848032
PMCID:
PMC4413264
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1503550112
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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