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Recent studies have challenged the view that orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and amygdala mediate flexible reward-guided behavior. We trained macaques to perform an object discrimination reversal task during fMRI sessions and identified a lateral OFC (lOFC) region in which activity predicted adaptive win-stay/lose-shift behavior. Amygdala and lOFC activity was more strongly coupled on lose-shift trials. However, lOFC-amygdala coupling was also modulated by the relevance of reward information in a manner consistent with a role in establishing how credit for reward should be assigned. Day-to-day fluctuations in signals and signal coupling were correlated with day-to-day fluctuation in performance. A second experiment confirmed the existence of signals for adaptive stay/shift behavior in lOFC and reflecting irrelevant reward in the amygdala in a probabilistic learning task. Our data demonstrate that OFC and amygdala each make unique contributions to flexible behavior and credit assignment.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1106 - 1118


Adaptation, Psychological, Amygdala, Animals, Brain Mapping, Choice Behavior, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Learning, Macaca mulatta, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Neural Pathways, Neurons, Oxygen, Prefrontal Cortex, Reinforcement (Psychology), Reward, Temperature, Time Factors