Human orbitofrontal cortex signals decision outcomes to sensory cortex during behavioral adaptations

  • The ability to respond flexibly to an ever-changing environment relies on the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). However, how the OFC associates sensory information with predicted outcomes to enable flexible sensory learning in humans remains elusive. Here, we combine a probabilistic tactile reversal learning task with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate how lateral OFC (lOFC) interacts with the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) to guide flexible tactile learning in humans. fMRI results reveal that lOFC and S1 exhibit distinct task-dependent engagement: while the lOFC responds transiently to unexpected outcomes immediately following reversals, S1 is persistently engaged during re-learning. Unlike the contralateral stimulus-selective S1, activity in ipsilateral S1 mirrors the outcomes of behavior during re-learning, closely related to top-down signals from lOFC. These findings suggest that lOFC contributes to teaching signals to dynamically update representations in sensory areas, which implement computations critical for adaptive behavior.

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Author:Bin WangORCiDGND, Maike VeismannORCiDGND, Abhishek BanerjeeORCiDGND, Burkhard PlegerORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Nature communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group UK
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2024/02/22
Date of first Publication:2023/06/15
Publishing Institution:Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsbibliothek
Tag:Open Access Fonds
Issue:Article 3552
First Page:3552-1
Last Page:3552-15
Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
Institutes/Facilities:Berufsgenossenschaftliches Universitätsklinikum Bergmannsheil, Neurologische Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik
Dewey Decimal Classification:Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / Medizin, Gesundheit
open_access (DINI-Set):open_access
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY 4.0 - Attribution 4.0 International