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J Neurosci. 2017 Mar 1;37(9):2463-2470. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1839-16.2017. Epub 2017 Feb 1.

The Role of Orbitofrontal-Amygdala Interactions in Updating Action-Outcome Valuations in Macaques.

Author information

1
Section on the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Laboratory of Neuropsychology, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.
2
Section on the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Laboratory of Neuropsychology, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 murraye@mail.nih.gov.

Abstract

A previous study revealed that, although monkeys with bilateral lesions of either the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) or the amygdala could learn an action-outcome task, they could not adapt their choices in response to devalued outcomes. Specifically, they could not adjust their choice between two actions after the value of the outcome associated with one of the actions had decreased. Here, we investigated whether OFC needs to interact functionally with the amygdala in mediating such choices. Rhesus monkeys were trained to make two mutually exclusive actions on a touch-sensitive screen: "tap" and "hold." Taps led to the availability of one kind of food outcome; holds produced a different food. On each trial, monkeys could choose either a tap or a hold to earn the corresponding food reward. After consuming one of the two foods to satiety, monkeys were then tested on their ability to adapt their choices in response to the updated relative valuation of the two predicted outcomes. Whereas intact (control) monkeys shifted their choices toward the action associated with the higher value (nonsated) food, monkeys with crossed surgical disconnection of the amygdala and OFC did not. These findings demonstrate that amygdala-OFC interactions are necessary for choices among actions based on the updated value of predicted outcomes and they also have a bearing on the idea that OFC specializes in stimulus- or object-based choices in contrast to action- or response-based choices.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Dysfunctional interactions between orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and the amygdala underlie several mental health disorders, often related to value-based decision making. Understanding the underlying neural circuitry may help to develop therapies for those suffering from mood and anxiety disorders and provide insight into addiction. Here, we investigated whether the amygdala must interact with OFC to make adaptive choices. Monkeys learned to perform two different actions, "tap" for one kind of food reward and "hold" for another, and then one of the two foods was devalued temporarily. Intact monkeys shifted their choice to whichever action produced the higher-value food; monkeys with crossed surgical disconnection of OFC and the amygdala did not. Therefore, OFC and the amygdala must interact functionally to mediate adaptive choices.

KEYWORDS:

action value; decision making; medial frontal cortex; orbital frontal cortex; reward value

PMID:
28148725
PMCID:
PMC5354351
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1839-16.2017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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