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Adjusting accordingly: prefrontal areas updating valuations for objects and actions

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Betsy Murray, Ph.D.

The goal of our research program is to understand the mechanisms of the primate frontal lobe and the amygdala in reward processing and emotion at a causal level. Specifically, we aim to understand the interactions among brain regions that play a necessary role in updating representations of value (i.e., valuations) of expected and received rewards based on current biological needs, and how these valuations influence decisions. Notably, the brain regions involved in valuation functions in macaques are the same regions thought to be dysfunctional in major depressive disorder (MDD), and we have proposed that the valuation functions of orbital and medial frontal cortex in macaques may offer insights into the mechanisms underlying MDD .

Rudebeck PH, and Murray EA (2014) The orbitofrontal oracle: cortical mechanisms for the prediction and evaluation of specific behavioral outcomes. Neuron, 84: 1143-1156. Review Rudebeck PH, Mitz AR, Chacko RV, and Murray EA (2014) Effects of amygdala lesions on reward-value coding in orbital and medial prefrontal cortex. Neuron, 80: 1519-1531. Rhodes SEV , and Murray EA (2013) Differential effects of amygdala, orbital prefrontal cortex and prelimbic cortex lesions on goal-directed behavior in rhesus macaques. Journal of Neuroscience, 33: 3380-3389. Rudebeck PH, Saunders RC, Prescott AT, Chau LS, and Murray EA (2013) Prefrontal mechanisms of behavioral flexibility, emotion regulation, and value updating. Nature Neuroscience, 16: 1140-1145. Murray EA, Wise SP, and Drevets WC (2011) Localization of dysfunction in major depressive disorder: prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Biological Psychiatry, 69: e43-54, doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.09.041.

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