Both authors contributed equally to this work.
Does the medial orbitofrontal cortex have a role in social valuation?
Article first published online: 14 JUN 2010
© The Authors (2010). Journal Compilation © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
European Journal of Neuroscience
Special Issue: On the occasion of the 7th FENS Forum, Amsterdam 2010
Volume 31, Issue 12, pages 2341–2351, June 2010
How to Cite
Noonan, M. P., Sallet, J., Rudebeck, P. H., Buckley, M. J. and Rushworth, M. F. (2010), Does the medial orbitofrontal cortex have a role in social valuation?. European Journal of Neuroscience, 31: 2341–2351. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07271.x
Present address: Laboratory of Neuropsychology, National Institute of Mental Health-National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
- Issue published online: 21 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 14 JUN 2010
- Received 15 February 2010, revised 8 April 2010, accepted 9 April 2010
- anterior cingulate cortex;
- decision making;
- medial orbitofrontal cortex;
- social cognition
It has been claimed that social behaviour changes after lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). However, lesions in humans are rarely restricted to a well defined cortical area. Although vmPFC lesions usually include medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC), they typically also affect subgenual and/or perigenual anterior cingulate cortex. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the role of mOFC in social valuation and decision-making. We tested four macaque monkeys prior to and after focal lesions of mOFC. Comparison of the animals’ pre- and postoperative performance revealed that, unlike lesions of anterior cingulate gyrus (ACCg), lesions of mOFC did not induce alterations in social valuation. MOFC lesions did, however, induce mild impairments in a probabilistic two-choice decision task, which were not seen after ACCg lesions. In summary, the double dissociation between the patterns of impairment suggest that vmPFC involvement in both decision-making and social valuation may be mediated by distinct subregions centred on mOFC and ACCg respectively.