Orbitofrontal neurons signal sensory associations underlying model-based inference in a sensory preconditioning task

  1. Brian F Sadacca
  2. Heather M Wied
  3. Nina Lopatina
  4. Gurpreet K Saini
  5. Daniel Nemirovsky
  6. Geoffrey Schoenbaum  Is a corresponding author
  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, United States

Abstract

Using knowledge of the structure of the world to infer value is at the heart of model-based reasoning and relies on a circuit that includes the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Some accounts link this to the representation of biological significance or value by neurons in OFC, while other models focus on the representation of associative structure or cognitive maps. Here we tested between these accounts by recording OFC neurons in rats during an OFC-dependent sensory preconditioning task. We found that while OFC neurons were strongly driven by biological significance or reward predictions at the end of training, they also showed clear evidence of acquiring the incidental stimulus-stimulus pairings in the preconditioning phase, prior to reward training. These results support a role for OFC in representing associative structure, independent of value.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Brian F Sadacca

    Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  2. Heather M Wied

    Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  3. Nina Lopatina

    Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  4. Gurpreet K Saini

    Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  5. Daniel Nemirovsky

    Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  6. Geoffrey Schoenbaum

    Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, United States
    For correspondence
    geoffrey.schoenbaum@nih.gov
    Competing interests
    Geoffrey Schoenbaum, Reviewing editor, eLife.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-8180-0701

Funding

National Institute on Drug Abuse (ZIA-DA000587)

  • Geoffrey Schoenbaum

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Michael J Frank, Brown University, United States

Ethics

Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (#15-CNRB-108) of the NIDA-IRP. The protocol was approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee (Permit Number: A4149-01). All surgery was performed under gas anesthesia, and every effort was made to minimize suffering.

Version history

  1. Received: July 13, 2017
  2. Accepted: March 2, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: March 7, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: March 12, 2018 (version 2)

Copyright

This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

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  1. Brian F Sadacca
  2. Heather M Wied
  3. Nina Lopatina
  4. Gurpreet K Saini
  5. Daniel Nemirovsky
  6. Geoffrey Schoenbaum
(2018)
Orbitofrontal neurons signal sensory associations underlying model-based inference in a sensory preconditioning task
eLife 7:e30373.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.30373

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.30373

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