DOI: 10.1101/304709Apr 20, 2018Paper

Overlapping neural processes for stopping and economic choice in orbitofrontal cortex

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Pragathi Priyadharsini Balasubramani, Benjamin Y Hayden

Abstract

Economic choice and stopping are not traditionally treated as related phenomena. However, we were motivated by foraging models of economic choice to hypothesize that they may reflect similar neural processes occurring in overlapping brain circuits. We recorded neuronal activity in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), while macaques performed a stop signal task interleaved with a structurally matched economic choice task. Decoding analyses show that OFC ensembles predict successful versus failed stopping both before the trial and immediately after the stop signal, even after controlling for value predictions. These responses indicate that OFC contributes both proactively and reactively to stopping. Moreover, OFC neurons engagement in one task positively predicted their engagement in the other. Finally, firing patterns that distinguished low from high value offers in the economic task distinguished failed and successful trials in the stopping task. These results endorse the idea that economic choice and inhibition may be subject to theoretical unification.

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