Value representations in the primate striatum during matching behavior

Neuron. 2008 May 8;58(3):451-63. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.02.021.


Choosing the most valuable course of action requires knowing the outcomes associated with the available alternatives. The striatum may be important for representing the values of actions. We examined this in monkeys performing an oculomotor choice task. The activity of phasically active neurons (PANs) in the striatum covaried with two classes of information: action-values and chosen-values. Action-value PANs were correlated with value estimates for one of the available actions, and these signals were frequently observed before movement execution. Chosen-value PANs were correlated with the value of the action that had been chosen, and these signals were primarily observed later in the task, immediately before or persistently after movement execution. These populations may serve distinct functions mediated by the striatum: some PANs may participate in choice by encoding the values of the available actions, while other PANs may participate in evaluative updating by encoding the reward value of chosen actions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Caudate Nucleus / cytology
  • Caudate Nucleus / physiology*
  • Choice Behavior / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reward*