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The Prefrontal CortexExecutive and Cognitive Functions$
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A. C. Roberts, T. W. Robbins, and L. Weiskrantz

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198524410

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524410.001.0001

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The orbitofrontal cortex

The orbitofrontal cortex

(p.67) 6 The orbitofrontal cortex
The Prefrontal Cortex

Edmund T. Rolls

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the studies performed with macaques and humans to understand the function of the orbitofrontal cortex. It elaborates its connections with the primary taste cortex and the effects of its lesions. The chapter explains the neurophysiology of the orbitofrontal cortex and its functions in different behaviours such as the gustatory, olfactory, and visual pathways. It explores a number of symptoms of frontal lobe damage in humans that appear to be related to altering behaviour when stimulus-reinforcement associations alter. It conclusively suggests that the orbitofrontal cortex is involved in the execution of behavioural responses when these are computed by reward or punishment association learning, a function for which the orbitofrontal cortex is specialized, in terms of representations of primary (unlearned) reinforcers, and in rapidly learning and readjusting associations of stimuli with these primary reinforcers.

Keywords:   macaques, orbitofrontal cortex, taste cortex, lesions, neurophysiology, behaviour, reinforcers

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