The functional roles of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in processing uncertainty

NYU PROSPEC Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Decisions under uncertainty distinguish between those made under risk (known probabilities) and those made under ambiguity (unknown probabilities). Despite widespread interest in decisions under uncertainty and the successful documentation that these distinct psychological constructs profoundly—and differentially—impact behavior, research has not been able to systematically converge on which brain regions are functionally involved in processing risk and ambiguity. We merge a lesion approach with computational modeling and simultaneous measurement of the arousal response to investigate the impact the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC), and amygdala have on decisions under uncertainty. Results reveal that the lPFC acts as a unitary system for processing uncertainty: Lesions to this region disrupted the relationship between arousal and choice, broadly increasing both risk and ambiguity seeking. In contrast, the mPFC and amygdala appeared to play no role in processing risk, and the mPFC only had a tenuous relationship with ambiguous uncertainty. Together, these findings reveal that only the lPFC plays a global role in processing the highly aversive nature of uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1742-1754
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume31
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Amygdala
Prefrontal Cortex
Uncertainty
Arousal
Documentation
Psychology
Brain
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

The functional roles of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in processing uncertainty. / NYU PROSPEC Collaboration.

In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Vol. 31, No. 11, 01.01.2018, p. 1742-1754.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{1b7cf94ace34450f8f416d2ac9bd6903,
title = "The functional roles of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in processing uncertainty",
abstract = "Decisions under uncertainty distinguish between those made under risk (known probabilities) and those made under ambiguity (unknown probabilities). Despite widespread interest in decisions under uncertainty and the successful documentation that these distinct psychological constructs profoundly—and differentially—impact behavior, research has not been able to systematically converge on which brain regions are functionally involved in processing risk and ambiguity. We merge a lesion approach with computational modeling and simultaneous measurement of the arousal response to investigate the impact the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC), and amygdala have on decisions under uncertainty. Results reveal that the lPFC acts as a unitary system for processing uncertainty: Lesions to this region disrupted the relationship between arousal and choice, broadly increasing both risk and ambiguity seeking. In contrast, the mPFC and amygdala appeared to play no role in processing risk, and the mPFC only had a tenuous relationship with ambiguous uncertainty. Together, these findings reveal that only the lPFC plays a global role in processing the highly aversive nature of uncertainty.",
author = "{NYU PROSPEC Collaboration} and Oriel Feldmanhall and Paul Glimcher and Baker, {Augustus L.} and Elizabeth Phelps and Karen Blackmon and Orrin Devinsky and Doyle, {Werner K.} and Luciano, {Daniel J.} and Kuzniecky, {Ruben I.} and Michael Meager and Nadkarni, {Siddhartha S.} and Blanca Vazquez and Soul Najjar and Eric Geller and Golfinos, {John G.} and Placantonakis, {Dimitris G.} and Daniel Friedman and Wisoff, {Jeffrey H.} and Uzma Samadani",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1162/jocn_a_01443",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "31",
pages = "1742--1754",
journal = "Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience",
issn = "0898-929X",
publisher = "MIT Press Journals",
number = "11",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The functional roles of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in processing uncertainty

AU - NYU PROSPEC Collaboration

AU - Feldmanhall, Oriel

AU - Glimcher, Paul

AU - Baker, Augustus L.

AU - Phelps, Elizabeth

AU - Blackmon, Karen

AU - Devinsky, Orrin

AU - Doyle, Werner K.

AU - Luciano, Daniel J.

AU - Kuzniecky, Ruben I.

AU - Meager, Michael

AU - Nadkarni, Siddhartha S.

AU - Vazquez, Blanca

AU - Najjar, Soul

AU - Geller, Eric

AU - Golfinos, John G.

AU - Placantonakis, Dimitris G.

AU - Friedman, Daniel

AU - Wisoff, Jeffrey H.

AU - Samadani, Uzma

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - Decisions under uncertainty distinguish between those made under risk (known probabilities) and those made under ambiguity (unknown probabilities). Despite widespread interest in decisions under uncertainty and the successful documentation that these distinct psychological constructs profoundly—and differentially—impact behavior, research has not been able to systematically converge on which brain regions are functionally involved in processing risk and ambiguity. We merge a lesion approach with computational modeling and simultaneous measurement of the arousal response to investigate the impact the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC), and amygdala have on decisions under uncertainty. Results reveal that the lPFC acts as a unitary system for processing uncertainty: Lesions to this region disrupted the relationship between arousal and choice, broadly increasing both risk and ambiguity seeking. In contrast, the mPFC and amygdala appeared to play no role in processing risk, and the mPFC only had a tenuous relationship with ambiguous uncertainty. Together, these findings reveal that only the lPFC plays a global role in processing the highly aversive nature of uncertainty.

AB - Decisions under uncertainty distinguish between those made under risk (known probabilities) and those made under ambiguity (unknown probabilities). Despite widespread interest in decisions under uncertainty and the successful documentation that these distinct psychological constructs profoundly—and differentially—impact behavior, research has not been able to systematically converge on which brain regions are functionally involved in processing risk and ambiguity. We merge a lesion approach with computational modeling and simultaneous measurement of the arousal response to investigate the impact the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC), and amygdala have on decisions under uncertainty. Results reveal that the lPFC acts as a unitary system for processing uncertainty: Lesions to this region disrupted the relationship between arousal and choice, broadly increasing both risk and ambiguity seeking. In contrast, the mPFC and amygdala appeared to play no role in processing risk, and the mPFC only had a tenuous relationship with ambiguous uncertainty. Together, these findings reveal that only the lPFC plays a global role in processing the highly aversive nature of uncertainty.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85072746602&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85072746602&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1162/jocn_a_01443

DO - 10.1162/jocn_a_01443

M3 - Article

C2 - 31298634

AN - SCOPUS:85072746602

VL - 31

SP - 1742

EP - 1754

JO - Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

JF - Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

SN - 0898-929X

IS - 11

ER -