Orbitofrontal cortex contributes to the comparison of values underlying economic choices

Sébastien Ballesta, Weikang Shi, Camillo Padoa-Schioppa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Economic choices between goods entail the computation and comparison of subjective values. Previous studies examined neuronal activity in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) of monkeys choosing between different types of juices. Three groups of neurons were identified: offer value cells encoding the value of individual offers, chosen juice cells encoding the identity of the chosen juice, and chosen value cells encoding the value of the chosen offer. The encoded variables capture both the input (offer value) and the output (chosen juice, chosen value) of the decision process, suggesting that values are compared within OFC. Recent work demonstrates that choices are causally linked to the activity of offer value cells. Conversely, the hypothesis that OFC contributes to value comparison has not been confirmed. Here we show that weak electrical stimulation of OFC specifically disrupts value comparison without altering offer values. This result implies that neuronal populations in OFC participate in value comparison.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4405
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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