Partial adaptation to the value range in the macaque orbitofrontal cortex

Katherine E. Conen, Camillo Padoa-Schioppa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Values available for choice in different behavioral contexts can vary immensely. To compensate for this variability, neuronal circuits underlying economic decisions undergo adaptation. In orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), neurons encode the subjective value of offered and chosen goods in a quasilinear way. Previous experiments found that the gain of the encoding is lower when the value range is wider. However, the parameters OFC neurons adapted to remained unclear. Furthermore, previous studies did not examine additive changes in neuronal responses. Computational considerations indicate that these factors can directly impact choice behavior. Here we investigated how OFC neurons adapt to changes in the value range. We recorded from two male rhesus monkeys during a juice choice task. Each session was divided into two blocks of trials. In each block, juices were offered within a set range of values, and ranges changed between blocks. Across blocks, neuronal responses adapted to both the maximum and the minimum value, but only partially. As a result, the minimum neural activity was elevated in some value ranges relative to others. Through simulation of a linear decision model, we showed that increasing the minimum response increases choice variability, lowering the expected payoff. This effect is modulated by the balance between cells with positive and negative encoding. The presence of these two populations induces a non-monotonic relationship between the value range and choice efficacy, such that the expected payoff is highest for decisions in an intermediate value range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3498-3513
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • Decision-making
  • Economic choice
  • Neuronal plasticity
  • Optimal coding
  • Range adaptation
  • Subjective value


Dive into the research topics of 'Partial adaptation to the value range in the macaque orbitofrontal cortex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this