Specialized medial prefrontal-amygdala coordination in other-regarding decision preference

Nat Neurosci. 2020 Apr;23(4):565-574. doi: 10.1038/s41593-020-0593-y. Epub 2020 Feb 24.


Social behaviors recruit multiple cognitive operations that require interactions between cortical and subcortical brain regions. Interareal synchrony may facilitate such interactions between cortical and subcortical neural populations. However, it remains unknown how neurons from different nodes in the social brain network interact during social decision-making. Here we investigated oscillatory neuronal interactions between the basolateral amygdala and the rostral anterior cingulate gyrus of the medial prefrontal cortex while monkeys expressed context-dependent positive or negative other-regarding preference (ORP), whereby decisions affected the reward received by another monkey. Synchronization between the two nodes was enhanced for a positive ORP but suppressed for a negative ORP. These interactions occurred in beta and gamma frequency bands depending on the area contributing the spikes, exhibited a specific directionality of information flow associated with a positive ORP and could be used to decode social decisions. These findings suggest that specialized coordination in the medial prefrontal-amygdala network underlies social-decision preferences.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Reward