Electrophysiological population dynamics reveal context dependencies during decision making in human frontal cortex

Wan Yu Shih*, Hsiang Yu Yu, Cheng Chia Lee, Chien Chen Chou, Chien Chen, Paul W. Glimcher*, Shih Wei Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evidence from monkeys and humans suggests that the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) encodes the subjective value of options under consideration during choice. Data from non-human primates suggests that these value signals are context-dependent, representing subjective value in a way influenced by the decision makers’ recent experience. Using electrodes distributed throughout cortical and subcortical structures, human epilepsy patients performed an auction task where they repeatedly reported the subjective values they placed on snack food items. High-gamma activity in many cortical and subcortical sites including the OFC positively correlated with subjective value. Other OFC sites showed signals contextually modulated by the subjective value of previously offered goods—a context dependency predicted by theory but not previously observed in humans. These results suggest that value and value-context signals are simultaneously present but separately represented in human frontal cortical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7821
JournalNature Communications
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

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