Fictive reward signals in the anterior cingulate cortex

Benjamin Y. Hayden, John M. Pearson, Michael L. Platt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


The neural mechanisms supporting the ability to recognize and respond to fictive outcomes, outcomes of actions that one has not taken, remain obscure. We hypothesized that neurons in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which monitors the consequences of actions and mediates subsequent changes in behavior, would respond to fictive reward information. We recorded responses of single neurons during performance of a choice task that provided information about the reward values of options that were not chosen. We found that ACC neurons signal fictive reward information and use a coding scheme similar to that used to signal experienced outcomes. Thus, individual ACC neurons process both experienced and fictive rewards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)948-950
Number of pages3
Issue number5929
StatePublished - May 15 2009


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