Orbitofrontal Cortex and Amygdala Contributions to Affect and Action in Primates


Address for correspondence: Elisabeth A. Murray, Ph.D., Laboratory of Neuropsychology, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, 49 Convent Drive, MSC 4415, Bethesda, MD 20892-4415. Voice: 301-496-5625, ext. 227; fax: 301-402-0046.


Abstract: The amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) work together as part of the neural circuitry guiding goal-directed behavior. This chapter explores the way in which the amygdala and OFC contribute to emotion and reward processing in macaque monkeys, taking into account recent methodological and conceptual advances. Although direct functional interaction of the amygdala and OFC is necessary for some types of stimulus–reward associations, it is not necessary for others. Both regions contribute to the expression of defensive responses to a potential predator. Contrary to the prevailing view, the amygdala and OFC make distinct contributions to emotional responses and reward processing.