A Caltech Library Service

Orbitofrontal Cortex Encodes Willingness to Pay in Everyday Economic Transactions

Plassmann, Hilke and O'Doherty, John and Rangel, Antonio (2007) Orbitofrontal Cortex Encodes Willingness to Pay in Everyday Economic Transactions. Journal of Neuroscience, 27 (37). pp. 9984-9988. ISSN 0270-6474. PMCID PMC6672655.

PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

PDF (Supplemental Data) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


An essential component of every economic transaction is a willingness-to-pay (WTP) computation in which buyers calculate the maximum amount of financial resources that they are willing to give up in exchange for the object being sold. Despite its pervasiveness, little is known about how the brain makes this computation. We investigated the neural basis of the WTP computation by scanning hungry subjects' brains using functional magnetic resonance imaging while they placed real bids for the right to eat different foods. We found that activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex encodes subjects' WTP for the items. Our results support the hypothesis that the medial orbitofrontal cortex encodes the value of goals in decision making.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Plassmann, Hilke0000-0001-9680-0763
O'Doherty, John0000-0003-0016-3531
Additional Information:© 2007 Society for Neuroscience. Received May 9, 2007; revised July 2, 2007; accepted July 24, 2007. This work was supported by the Moore Foundation, National Science Foundation Grant SES-0134618, and German Academic Exchange Service Grant DAAD D/05/47698. We thank Vivian Valentin, Jan Glaescher, Alan Hampton, and Axel Linder for their help with this work.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)D/05/47698
Subject Keywords:decision making; reward; neuroeconomics; orbitofrontal cortex; fMRI; buying
Issue or Number:37
PubMed Central ID:PMC6672655
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100419-103442354
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Hilke Plassmann, John O'Doherty, and Antonio Rangel Orbitofrontal Cortex Encodes Willingness to Pay in Everyday Economic Transactions J. Neurosci. 27: 9984-9988; doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2131-07.2007
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:18013
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:12 May 2010 16:21
Last Modified:02 Jul 2020 18:58

Repository Staff Only: item control page