Effects of amygdala lesions on reward-value coding in orbital and medial prefrontal cortex

Neuron. 2013 Dec 18;80(6):1519-31. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.09.036.


We examined the contribution of the amygdala to value signals within orbital prefrontal cortex (OFC) and medial prefrontal cortex (MFC). On each trial, monkeys chose between two stimuli that were associated with different quantities of reward. In intact monkeys, as expected, neurons in both OFC and MFC signaled the reward quantity associated with stimuli. Contrasted with MFC, OFC contained a larger proportion of neurons encoding reward quantity and did so with faster response latencies. Removing the amygdala eliminated these differences, mainly by decreasing value coding in OFC. Similar decreases occurred in OFC immediately before and after reward delivery. Although the amygdala projects to both OFC and MFC, we found that it has its greatest influence over reward-value coding in OFC. Notably, amygdala lesions did not abolish value coding in OFC, which shows that OFC's representations of the value of objects, choices, and outcomes depends, in large part, on other sources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Choice Behavior / physiology
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Reward*