Contributions of the Human Orbitofrontal Cortex to Outcome-Guided Behavior

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 12:00pm
Thorsten Kahnt, Ph.D., Department of Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Research across species has shown that the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is critical for decision making. However, it is less clear what computations are carried out by this region that make it so important for this function. I will discuss work from our lab suggesting that the OFC supports decision making by signaling expectations about specific outcomes. Our results show that the human OFC encodes the identity of expected outcomes and that disruption of OFC activity impairs behavior that relies on such expectations. Together, these findings support the idea that the OFC contributes to decision making by representing a model or “cognitive map” of the environment that allows individuals to infer the value of outcomes when direct experience is lacking.

Location: Ackerman Union Grand Ballroom

Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Time: 12:00pm

Host: Melissa Sharpe