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Orbitofrontal Cortex Value Signals Depend on Fixation Location during Free Viewing

McGinty, Vincent B. and Rangel, Antonio and Newsome, William T. (2016) Orbitofrontal Cortex Value Signals Depend on Fixation Location during Free Viewing. Neuron, 90 (6). pp. 1299-1311. ISSN 0896-6273. PMCID PMC4911340.

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In the natural world, monkeys and humans judge the economic value of numerous competing stimuli by moving their gaze from one object to another, in a rapid series of eye movements. This suggests that the primate brain processes value serially, and that value-coding neurons may be modulated by changes in gaze. To test this hypothesis, we presented monkeys with value-associated visual cues and took the unusual step of allowing unrestricted free viewing while we recorded neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). By leveraging natural gaze patterns, we found that a large proportion of OFC cells encode gaze location and, that in some cells, value coding is amplified when subjects fixate near the cue. These findings provide the first cellular-level mechanism for previously documented behavioral effects of gaze on valuation and suggest a major role for gaze in neural mechanisms of valuation and decision-making under ecologically realistic conditions.

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Additional Information:© 2016 Elsevier. Received 17 June 2015, Revised 30 January 2016, Accepted 22 April 2016, Available online 2 June 2016. Published: June 2, 2016. We thank J. Brown, S. Fong, J. Powell, J. Sanders, and E. Carson for technical assistance. C. Chandrasekaran, R.B. Ebitz, and S. Morrison commented on the manuscript. This work was supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (W.T.N.), United States Air Force grant FA9550-07-1-0537 (W.T.N.), and by NIH grants K01 DA036659-01 and T32 EY20485-03 (V.B.M.). Author Contributions: Conceptualization, V.B.M., A.R., and W.T.N.; Methodology, V.B.M. and W.T.N.; Investigation, V.B.M.; Formal Analysis, V.B.M.; Writing – Original Draft, V.B.M.; Writing – Review and Editing, V.B.M., A.R., and W.T.N.; Visualization, V.B.M.; Supervision, W.T.N. and A.R.; and Funding Acquisition, V.B.M. and W.T.N.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)FA9550-07-1-0537
NIHK01 DA036659-01
NIHT32 EY20485-03
Issue or Number:6
PubMed Central ID:PMC4911340
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160613-125737494
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Official Citation:Vincent B. McGinty, Antonio Rangel, William T. Newsome, Orbitofrontal Cortex Value Signals Depend on Fixation Location during Free Viewing, Neuron, Volume 90, Issue 6, 15 June 2016, Pages 1299-1311, ISSN 0896-6273, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:67879
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:13 Jun 2016 21:03
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 10:09

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