Neural mechanisms of economic choices in mice

Masaru Kuwabara, Ningdong Kang, Timothy E. Holy, Camillo Padoa-Schioppa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Economic choices entail computing and comparing subjective values. Evidence from primates indicates that this behavior relies on the orbitofrontal cortex. Conversely, previous work in rodents provided conflicting results. Here we present a mouse model of economic choice behavior, and we show that the lateral orbital (LO) area is intimately related to the decision process. In the experiments, mice chose between different juices offered in variable amounts. Choice patterns closely resembled those measured in primates. Optogenetic inactivation of LO dramatically disrupted choices by inducing erratic changes of relative value and by increasing choice variability. Neuronal recordings revealed that different groups of cells encoded the values of individual options, the binary choice outcome and the chosen value. These groups match those previously identified in primates, except that the neuronal representation in mice is spatial (in monkeys it is good-based). Our results lay the foundations for a circuit-level analysis of economic decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere49669
JournaleLife
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2020

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