Learning theory: a driving force in understanding orbitofrontal function

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2014 Feb:108:22-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2013.06.003. Epub 2013 Jun 14.


Since it was demonstrated the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is critical to reversal learning, there has been considerable interest in specifying its role in flexible, outcome-guided behavior. Behavioral paradigms from the learning theory tradition, such as outcome devaluation, blocking, Pavlovian to instrumental transfer, and overexpectation have been a driving force in this research. The use of these procedures has revealed OFC's unique role in forming and integrating information about specific features of events and outcomes to drive behavior and learning. These studies highlight the power and importance of learning theory principles in guiding neuroscience research.

Keywords: Blocking; Devaluation; Learning theory; Orbitofrontal; Overexpectation; Reversal; Sensory preconditioning; Transfer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Reward