It's some of the best support we've seen so far for the theory that the vmPFC is integrating emotional assessments from the amygdala," says cognitive neuroscientist Molly Crockett of University College London.
Earlier work implicated the vmPFC as a final arbiter in other types of decisions.
participants in whom vMPFC
activity most differentiated between
However, the presence of weak but significant findings with this task in pathologic gamblers are consistent with previous studies that indicate patients with PG have abnormal brain activity in the VMPFC
in response to a Stroop task of attention (23) as well as the orbitofrontal cortex and ventral anterior cingulate when viewing gambling scenes.
took control while the signals in the dlPFC appeared to have no effect.
Taking the vmPFC
out of the equation might help people stay focused on the math.
Thus, the ventral areas within the rat vmPFC could represent a functional counterpart for the mOFC in humans (Ongiir & Price 2000).
Neophobia, a species-specific adaptive response to novel food, suggests a role for the intact vmPFC in regulation of unlearned adaptive feeding responses, as seen in a study that showed the effects of lesions in this region (Burns et al.
The findings suggest that individual differences in amygdala and vmPFC
function are independently associated with vulnerability to anxiety, with the amygdala potentially influencing the development of cue-specific fears (or phobias) and the vmPFC
impacting the ability to downregulate both phasic fears and generalized anxiety.
The team concluded that the hippocampus creates and stores concepts, and passes this information onto the vMPFC
where it is put to use during the making of decisions.
Earlier studies have shown that value-based decisions are reflected in the activity of a region in the brain called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, or vmPFC.
If activity in the vmPFC goes down, explains Todd Hare, a postdoctoral scholar in neuroeconomics and the first author on the Science paper, "it means the person is probably going to say no to that item; if it goes up, they're likely to choose that item.