Orbitofrontal Cortex, Associative Learning, and Expectancies

Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Neuron (Impact Factor: 15.05). 10/2005; 47(5):633-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2005.07.018
Source: PubMed


Orbitofrontal cortex is characterized by its unique pattern of connections with subcortical areas, such as basolateral amygdala. Here we distinguish between the critical role of these areas in associative learning and the pivotal contribution of OFC to the manipulation of this information to control behavior. This contribution reflects the ability of OFC to signal the desirability of expected outcomes, which requires the integration of associative information with information concerning internal states and goals in representational memory.

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Available from: Geoffrey Schoenbaum, Feb 03, 2014
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    • "Damage to the vmPFC is not only linked to poor performance on valuation tasks (Fellows and Farah 2007; Camille, Griffiths, et al. 2011; Camille, Tsuchida, et al. 2011), but is also linked to increased apathy (Barrash et al. 2000; Fellows and Farah 2005; Peters et al. 2006), and reduced vmPFC activity in response to rewarding stimuli has been found in clinically apathetic patients (Lawrence et al. 2011). Therefore, based on the assertion that reward valuation motivates goal-directed behavior (Schoenbaum and Roesch 2005; Schultz 2006), it has been speculated that disrupted vmPFC activity might impair one's ability to assign reward values to stimuli, reducing one's motivation to perform goal-directed behaviors to obtain those stimuli (i.e., increasing apathy; Levy and Dubois 2006; Lawrence et al. 2011; Arnould et al. 2013). This suggests that the association between vmPFC damage and increased behavioral apathy might be mediated by impaired reward valuation , yet empirical evidence for this relationship has remained elusive. "
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    ABSTRACT: Apathy is defined by reduced goal-directed behavior, and is common in patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Separately, in neuroeconomics research, the vmPFC has been shown to play a role in reward processing—namely, in “stimulus valuation,” or the computation of the subjective reward value of a stimulus. Here, we used a sample of patients with focal brain lesions (N = 93) and matched healthy controls (N = 21) to determine whether the association between vmPFC damage and increased apathy is driven by impaired valuation. An auction task was used to measure valuation, and apathy was assessed via caregiver ratings of patients' day-to-day behavior. Lesion-symptom mapping identified the locus of impaired valuation in the vmPFC, and patients with damage to this region demonstrated increased apathy relative to patients with damage to dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), patients with damage to other brain regions, and healthy controls. Critically, the association between vmPFC damage and apathy was mediated by impaired valuation, with no effect as a function of dmPFC damage. Our results implicate a valuation-based mechanism underlying the relationship between vmPFC integrity and apathy, bridging findings from both the clinical literature and neuroeconomics research.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Cerebral Cortex
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    • "Experiments were performed in a behavioral chamber previously described (Schoenbaum and Roesch, 2005). We performed daily screening of active wires, and advanced the electrode assembly by ∼80 µm per day at the end of the recording session to record from a different neuronal population. "
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to properly adjust behavioral responses to cues in a changing environment is crucial for survival. Activity in the medial Prefrontal Cortex (mPFC) is thought to both represent rules to guide behavior as well as detect and resolve conflicts between rules in changing contingencies. However, while lesion and pharmacological studies have supported a crucial role for mPFC in this type of set-shifting, an understanding of how mPFC represents current rules or detects and resolves conflict between different rules is unclear. Here, we directly address the role of rat mPFC in shifting rule based behavioral strategies using a novel behavioral task designed to tease apart neural signatures of rules, conflict and direction. We demonstrate that activity of single neurons in rat mPFC represent distinct rules. Further, we show increased firing on high conflict trials in a separate population of mPFC neurons. Reduced firing in both populations of neurons was associated with poor performance. Moreover, activity in both populations increased and decreased firing during the outcome epoch when reward was and was not delivered on correct and incorrect trials, respectively. In addition, outcome firing was modulated by the current rule and the degree of conflict associated with the previous decision. These results promote a greater understanding of the role that mPFC plays in switching between rules, signaling both rule and conflict to promote improved behavioral performance.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
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    • "The OFC has been reported to play two primary roles that have potential relevance to the current task: Together with the inferior frontal gyrus, the anterior insula, the superior temporal cortex and the temporoparietal junction, the OFC is part of the ventral attention network, acting as a bottom-up saliency detection system determining subjective and contextdependent susceptibility to unexpected salient stimuli (Corbetta et al., 2008; Vossel et al., 2014; Weissman and Prado, 2012). The OFC was also found to be involved in the processing of reward-related information (Schoenbaum and Roesch, 2005; Pauli et al., 2012). It is suggested that the OFC is involved in monitoring which recent actions were rewarded, and predicting which future actions are most likely to be rewarded (Kahnt et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Finding neurobiological markers for neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a major objective of clinicians and neuroscientists. We examined if functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data from few distinct visuospatial working memory (VSWM) tasks enables accurately detecting cases with ADHD. We tested 20 boys with ADHD combined type and 20 typically developed (TD) boys in four VSWM tasks that differed in feedback availability (feedback, no-feedback) and reward size (large, small). We used a multimodal analysis based on brain activity in 16 regions of interest, significantly activated or deactivated in the four VSWM tasks (based on the entire participants' sample). Dimensionality of the data was reduced into 10 principal components that were used as the input variables to a logistic regression classifier. fMRI data from the four VSWM tasks enabled a classification accuracy of 92.5%, with high predicted ADHD probability values for most clinical cases, and low predicted ADHD probabilities for most TDs. This accuracy level was higher than those achieved by using the fMRI data of any single task, or the respective behavioral data. This indicates that task-based fMRI data acquired while participants perform a few distinct VSWM tasks enables improved detection of clinical cases.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Clinical neuroimaging
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