Human orbitofrontal cortex mediates extinction learning while accessing conditioned representations of value

Jay A. Gottfried*, Raymond J. Dolan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

247 Scopus citations

Abstract

In extinction, an animal learns that a previously conditioned stimulus (CS+) no longer predicts delivery of a salient reinforcer (unconditioned stimulus, UCS). Rodent studies indicate that extinction relies on amygdala-prefrontal interactions and involves formation of memories that inhibit, without actually erasing, the original conditioning trace. Whether extinction learning in humans follows similar neurobiological principles is unknown. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure human brain activity evoked during olfactory aversive conditioning and extinction learning. Neural responses in orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala were preferentially enhanced during extinction, suggesting potential cross-species preservation of learning mechanisms that oppose conditioning. Moreover, by manipulating UCS aversiveness via reinforcer inflation, we showed that a CS+ retains access to representations of UCS value in distinct regions of ventral prefrontal cortex, even as extinction proceeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1144-1152
Number of pages9
JournalNature neuroscience
Volume7
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Human orbitofrontal cortex mediates extinction learning while accessing conditioned representations of value'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this