Choice, uncertainty and value in prefrontal and cingulate cortex

Nat Neurosci. 2008 Apr;11(4):389-97. doi: 10.1038/nn2066. Epub 2008 Mar 26.


Reinforcement learning models that focus on the striatum and dopamine can predict the choices of animals and people. Representations of reward expectation and of reward prediction errors that are pertinent to decision making, however, are not confined to these regions but are also found in prefrontal and cingulate cortex. Moreover, decisions are not guided solely by the magnitude of the reward that is expected. Uncertainty in the estimate of the reward expectation, the value of information that might be gained by taking a course of action and the cost of an action all influence the manner in which decisions are made through prefrontal and cingulate cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choice Behavior
  • Decision Making*
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Probability Learning
  • Psychological Theory
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Uncertainty*