All organisms confront the fundamental task of choosing an appropriate course of action given the current state of their environment. This process of decision making, also referred to as sensorimotor transformation, requires estimating the current state of the environment, evaluating the predicted costs and benefits of each potential course of action, and then selecting the most valuable alternative. Predicted action values, in turn, can be estimated from the consequences of previous actions. The cingulate cortex, which is strongly interconnected with brain areas processing sensory, motor, and motivational information, contributes to both selecting actions and monitoring the consequences of those actions and thus serves a supervisory role in the adaptive modification of ongoing behavior based on prior experience.
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