Distinct roles of monkey OFC-subcortical pathways in adaptive behavior

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Distinct roles of monkey OFC-subcortical pathways in adaptive behavior


Oyama, K.; Majima, K.; Nagai, Y.; Hori, Y.; Hirabayashi, T.; Eldridge, M. A. G.; Mimura, K.; Miyakawa, N.; Fujimoto, A.; Hori, Y.; Iwaoki, H.; Inoue, K.-i.; Saunders, R. C.; Takada, M.; Yahata, N.; Higuchi, M.; Richmond, B. J.; Minamimoto, T.


To be the most successful, primates must adapt to changing environments and optimize their behavior by making the most beneficial choices. At the core of adaptive behavior is the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) of the brain, which updates choice value through direct experience or knowledge-based inference. Here, we identify distinct neural circuitry underlying these two separate abilities. We designed two behavioral tasks in which macaque monkeys updated the values of certain items, either by directly experiencing changes in stimulus-reward associations, or by inferring the value of unexperienced items based on the task\'s rules. Chemogenetic silencing of bilateral OFC combined with mathematical model-fitting analysis revealed that monkey OFC is involved in updating item value based on both experience and inference. In vivo imaging of chemogenetic receptors by positron emission tomography allowed us to map projections from the OFC to the rostromedial caudate nucleus (rmCD) and the medial part of the mediodorsal thalamus (MDm). Chemogenetic silencing of the OFC-rmCD pathway impaired experience- based value updating, while silencing the OFC-MDm pathway impaired inference-based value updating. Our results thus demonstrate a dissociable contribution of distinct OFC projections to different behavioral strategies, and provide new insights into the neural basis of value-based adaptive decision-making in primates.

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