Decision Making and Routing of Information in the Prefrontal Cortex


March 29, 2016 - 12:00pm
Northwest 243
About the Speaker
Daeyeol Lee (Yale)

The primate prefrontal cortex is often considered to be the executive center in the brain, but the mechanisms by which the prefrontal cortex selects appropriate strategies for controlling the behavior and flow of information in other brain areas remains unknown. We investigated nature and time course of signals necessary for adaptive decision making in multiple subregions of the prefrontal cortex during virtual competitive games and probabilistic reversal learning tasks. While the dynamics of choice behavior was largely consistent with a simple reinforcement learning algorithm, monkeys also acquired additional heuristic strategies to maximize their payoffs. In addition, the decision to switch away from the default learning algorithm was reflected in the activity of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. We also found that the flow of task-relevant information in the prefrontal cortex was flexibly modified by the outcomes of previous choices.