Representation of spatial goals in rat orbitofrontal cortex

Feierstein, C. E. , Quirk, M. C., Uchida, N., Sosulski, D. L., Mainen, Z. F. (August 2006) Representation of spatial goals in rat orbitofrontal cortex. Neuron, 51 (4). pp. 495-507. ISSN 0896-6273 (Print)

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2006.06.032


The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is thought to participate in making and evaluating goal-directed decisions. In rodents, spatial navigation is a major mode of goal-directed behavior, and anatomical and lesion studies implicate the OFC in spatial processing, but there is little direct evidence for coding of spatial or motor variables. Here, we recorded from ventrolateral and lateral OFC in an odor-cued two-alternative choice task requiring orientation and approach to spatial goal ports. In this context, over half of OFC neurons encoded choice direction or goal port location. A subset of neurons was jointly selective for the trial outcome and port location, information useful for the selection or evaluation of spatial goals. These observations show that the rodent OFC not only encodes information relating to general motivational significance, as shown previously, but also encodes spatiomotor variables needed to define specific behavioral goals and the locomotor actions required to attain them.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Action Potentials physiology Animals Behavior Animal Brain Mapping Choice Behavior physiology Cues Discrimination Learning physiology Frontal Lobe cytology physiology Goals Movement physiology Neurons classification physiology Orientation physiology ROC Curve Rats Reaction Time Reward Space Perception physiology Time Factors
Subjects: organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > cerebral cortex
organism description > animal behavior > odor recognition
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > orbitofrontal cortex
organism description > animal > mammal > rodent
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Mainen lab
School of Biological Sciences > Publications
Depositing User: CSHL Librarian
Date: 17 August 2006
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2011 17:56
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2014 18:41
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