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Evidence for a Common Representation of Decision Values for Dissimilar Goods in Human Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

Chib, Vikram S. and Rangel, Antonio and Shimojo, Shinsuke and O'Doherty, John P. (2009) Evidence for a Common Representation of Decision Values for Dissimilar Goods in Human Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 29 (39). pp. 12315-12320. ISSN 0270-6474. PMCID PMC6666137.

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To make economic choices between goods, the brain needs to compute representations of their values. A great deal of research has been performed to determine the neural correlates of value representations in the human brain. However, it is still unknown whether there exists a region of the brain that commonly encodes decision values for different types of goods, or if, in contrast, the values of different types of goods are represented in distinct brain regions. We addressed this question by scanning subjects with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they made real purchasing decisions among different categories of goods (food, nonfood consumables, and monetary gambles). We found activity in a key brain region previously implicated in encoding goal-values: the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was correlated with the subjects' value for each category of good. Moreover, we found a single area in vmPFC to be correlated with the subjects' valuations for all categories of goods. Our results provide evidence that the brain encodes a "common currency" that allows for a shared valuation for different categories of goods.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Chib, Vikram S.0000-0001-8810-5699
O'Doherty, John P.0000-0003-0016-3531
Additional Information:© 2009 Society for Neuroscience. Received June 2, 2009; revised Aug. 5, 2009; accepted Aug. 14, 2009. This work was supported by National Science Foundation Grant 0617174 and a Searle Scholarship (J.P.O.), by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (J.P.O., A.R.), and by the Japan Science and Technology Agency, Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (S.S.).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Searle Scholars ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Japan Science and Technology AgencyUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:39
PubMed Central ID:PMC6666137
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20091022-095526492
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16438
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:22 Oct 2009 17:47
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:11

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