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The Orbitofrontal Cortex$
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David Zald and Scott Rauch

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198565741

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198565741.001.0001

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The neurophysiology and functions of the orbitofrontal cortex

The neurophysiology and functions of the orbitofrontal cortex

(p.95) Chapter 5 The neurophysiology and functions of the orbitofrontal cortex
The Orbitofrontal Cortex

Edmund T. Rolls

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the functions of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) based on analysis of neuronal activity in nonhuman primates and on fMRI in humans. Findings demonstrate that the OFC represents primary (unlearned) reinforcers and implements rapid stimulus-reinforcer association and reversal learning. Neurons in the OFC show sensitivity to sensory stimuli (visual, taste, smell, somatosensory), conditional reward, and changes in reinforcement (error detection, extinction). The findings are used as a basis for understanding the neural basis of emotion. A network model of how the OFC may perform these functions is described, and is applied to explain how the region may accomplish reversal learning.

Keywords:   neurophysiology, primate, sensory, somatosensory, reversal learning, error detection, neural network

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