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Cognitive Regulation during Decision Making Shifts Behavioral Control between Ventromedial and Dorsolateral Prefrontal Value Systems

Hutcherson, Cendri A. and Plassmann, Hilke and Gross, James J. and Rangel, Antonio (2012) Cognitive Regulation during Decision Making Shifts Behavioral Control between Ventromedial and Dorsolateral Prefrontal Value Systems. Journal of Neuroscience, 32 (39). pp. 13543-13554. ISSN 0270-6474. PMCID PMC3689006.

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Cognitive regulation is often used to influence behavioral outcomes. However, the computational and neurobiological mechanisms by which it affects behavior remain unknown. We studied this issue using an fMRI task in which human participants used cognitive regulation to upregulate and downregulate their cravings for foods at the time of choice. We found that activity in both ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) correlated with value. We also found evidence that two distinct regulatory mechanisms were at work: value modulation, which operates by changing the values assigned to foods in vmPFC and dlPFC at the time of choice, and behavioral control modulation, which operates by changing the relative influence of the vmPFC and dlPFC value signals on the action selection process used to make choices. In particular, during downregulation, activation decreased in the value-sensitive region of dlPFC (indicating value modulation) but not in vmPFC, and the relative contribution of the two value signals to behavior shifted toward the dlPFC (indicating behavioral control modulation). The opposite pattern was observed during upregulation: activation increased in vmPFC but not dlPFC, and the relative contribution to behavior shifted toward the vmPFC. Finally, ventrolateral PFC and posterior parietal cortex were more active during both upregulation and downregulation, and were functionally connected with vmPFC and dlPFC during cognitive regulation, which suggests that they help to implement the changes to the decision-making circuitry generated by cognitive regulation.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle CentralArticle
Hutcherson, Cendri A.0000-0002-4441-4809
Plassmann, Hilke0000-0001-9680-0763
Additional Information:© 2012 the authors. Received Dec. 21, 2011; revised July 27, 2012; accepted July 31, 2012. This work was supported by National Science Foundation Grants SES-0851408, SES-0926544, and SES-0850840, National Institutes of Health Grant R01 AA018736, and The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. We thank Todd Hare for comments. Author contributions: C.A.H., H.P., J.J.G., and A.R. designed research; C.A.H. performed research; C.A.H. analyzed data; C.A.H., H.P., J.J.G., and A.R. wrote the paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIHR01 AA018736
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:39
PubMed Central ID:PMC3689006
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121109-110056639
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35387
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Nov 2012 22:54
Last Modified:02 Jul 2020 18:17

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