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Multivariate Neural Representations of Value during Reward Anticipation and Consummation in the Human Orbitofrontal Cortex

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Yan, C 
Su, L 
Wang, Y 
Xu, T 
Yin, D-Z 


The role of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in value processing is a focus of research. Conventional imaging analysis, where smoothing and averaging are employed, may not be sufficiently sensitive in studying the OFC, which has heterogeneous anatomical structures and functions. In this study, we employed representational similarity analysis (RSA) to reveal the multi-voxel fMRI patterns in the OFC associated with value processing during the anticipatory and the consummatory phases. We found that multi-voxel activation patterns in the OFC encoded magnitude and partial valence information (win vs. loss) but not outcome (favourable vs. unfavourable) during reward consummation. Furthermore, the lateral OFC rather than the medial OFC encoded loss information. Also, we found that OFC encoded values in a similar way to the ventral striatum (VS) or the anterior insula (AI) during reward anticipation regardless of motivated response and to the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and the VS in reward consummation. In contrast, univariate analysis did not show changes of activation in the OFC. These findings suggest an important role of the OFC in value processing during reward anticipation and consummation.



Adult, Anticipation, Psychological, Brain Mapping, Female, Frontal Lobe, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Memory, Motivation, Prefrontal Cortex, Reward, Young Adult

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Scientific Reports

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Nature Publishing Group
This study was supported by grants from the National Science Fund China (81088001, 31500894 and 91132701), the Strategic Priority Research Programme (B) of the Chinese Academy of Science (XDB02030002), the Beijing Training Project for the Leading Talents in S & T (Z151100000315020), the Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission Grant, and a grant from the initiation fund of the CAS/SAFEA International Partnership Programme for Creative Research Team (Y2CX131003). LS is funded by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and Biomedical Research Unit in Dementia based at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge.