Valuation and decision-making in frontal cortex: one or many serial or parallel systems?

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2012 Dec;22(6):946-55. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2012.04.011. Epub 2012 May 7.


We evaluate the merits of different conceptualizations of frontal cortex function in value-guided decision-making. According to one view each frontal cortical region is concerned with a different aspect of the process of learning about and evaluating choices and then selecting actions. An alternative view, however, sees sets of decision-making circuits working in parallel within the frontal lobes in order to make different types of decisions. While there is a neural circuit for making choices between pairs of simultaneously presented items in the manner that is frequently assessed in the laboratory, there is also evidence that other frontal lobe circuits have evolved to make other types of choices such as those made during the course of foraging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Appetitive Behavior / physiology*
  • Choice Behavior / physiology*
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological
  • Reward*