A structural and functional subdivision in central orbitofrontal cortex

Maya Z Wang, Benjamin Y. Hayden, Sarah R. Heilbronner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Economic choice requires many cognitive subprocesses, including stimulus detection, valuation, motor output, and outcome monitoring; many of these subprocesses are associated with the central orbitofrontal cortex (cOFC). Prior work has largely assumed that the cOFC is a single region with a single function. Here, we challenge that unified view with convergent anatomical and physiological results from rhesus macaques. Anatomically, we show that the cOFC can be subdivided according to its much stronger (medial) or weaker (lateral) bidirectional anatomical connectivity with the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). We call these subregions cOFCm and cOFCl, respectively. These two subregions have notable functional differences. Specifically, cOFCm shows enhanced functional connectivity with PCC, as indicated by both spike-field coherence and mutual information. The cOFCm-PCC circuit, but not the cOFCl-PCC circuit, shows signatures of relaying choice signals from a non-spatial comparison framework to a spatially framed organization and shows a putative bidirectional mutually excitatory pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3623
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Giuliana Loconte, Hannah Lee, Tanya Casta, Cindy Tu, Mark Grier, Megan Monko, and Adriana Cushnie for experimental help. This research was supported by NIH grants R01 DA038106 (to B.Y.H.), R01 MH 118257 (to S.R.H.)., and a MNDrive fellowship (to M.Z.W.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

PubMed: MeSH publication types

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


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