Contrasting Roles for Orbitofrontal Cortex and Amygdala in Credit Assignment and Learning in Macaques

Ka Hung Bolton Chau, Jérôme Sallet, Georgios K. Papageorgiou, Mary Ann P Noonan, Andrew H. Bell, Mark E. Walton, Matthew F S Rushworth

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have challenged the view that orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and amygdala mediate flexible reward-guided behavior. We trained macaques to perform an object discrimination reversal task during fMRI sessions and identified a lateral OFC (lOFC) region in which activity predicted adaptive win-stay/lose-shift behavior. Amygdala and lOFC activity was more strongly coupled on lose-shift trials. However, lOFC-amygdala coupling was also modulated by the relevance of reward information in a manner consistent with a role in establishing how credit for reward should be assigned. Day-to-day fluctuations in signals and signal coupling were correlated with day-to-day fluctuation in performance. A second experiment confirmed the existence of signals for adaptive stay/shift behavior in lOFC and reflecting irrelevant reward in the amygdala in a probabilistic learning task. Our data demonstrate that OFC and amygdala each make unique contributions to flexible behavior and credit assignment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1106-1118
Number of pages13
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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