The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has long been associated with the flexible control of behavior and concepts such as behavioral inhibition, self-control, and emotional regulation. These ideas emphasize the suppression of behaviors and emotions, but OFC's affirmative functions have remained enigmatic. Here we review recent work that has advanced our understanding of this prefrontal area and how its functions are shaped through interaction with subcortical structures such as the amygdala. Recent findings have overturned theories emphasizing behavioral inhibition as OFC's fundamental function. Instead, new findings indicate that OFC provides predictions about specific outcomes associated with stimuli, choices, and actions, especially their moment-to-moment value based on current internal states. OFC function thereby encompasses a broad representation or model of an individual's sensory milieu and potential actions, along with their relationship to likely behavioral outcomes.
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