Choice-relevant information transformation along a ventrodorsal axis in the medial prefrontal cortex

David J.N. Maisson, Tyler V. Cash-Padgett, Maya Z. Wang, Benjamin Y. Hayden, Sarah R. Heilbronner, Jan Zimmermann

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15 Scopus citations


Choice-relevant brain regions in prefrontal cortex may progressively transform information about options into choices. Here, we examine responses of neurons in four regions of the medial prefrontal cortex as macaques performed two-option risky choices. All four regions encode economic variables in similar proportions and show similar putative signatures of key choice-related computations. We provide evidence to support a gradient of function that proceeds from areas 14 to 25 to 32 to 24. Specifically, we show that decodability of twelve distinct task variables increases along that path, consistent with the idea that regions that are higher in the anatomical hierarchy make choice-relevant variables more separable. We also show progressively longer intrinsic timescales in the same series. Together these results highlight the importance of the medial wall in choice, endorse a specific gradient-based organization, and argue against a modular functional neuroanatomy of choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4830
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Meghan Castagno Pesce, Marc Mancarella, Caleb Strait, and Tommy Blan-chard for assistance with data collection, and the rest of the Hayden/Zimmermann lab for valuable discussions. This research was supported by a National Institute on Health grant R01 DA038106 (to B.Y.H.) an R01 MH118257 (to S.R.H.), a National Institute on Drug Abuse grant P30 DA048742-01A1 (to B.Y.H., S.H., and J.Z.), a National Institute for Biomedical Imaging Grant P41 EB027061 (to B.Y.H. and J.Z.), and a UMN AIRP award (to B.Y.H., S.H., and J.Z.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

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