Northwestern University

Oct
20
Thu 4:00 PM

Psychology Colloquium- Thorsten Kahnt

When: Thursday, October 20, 2016
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM  

Where: Swift Hall, Room 107, 2029 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Laura Nevins   847.467.5027

Group: Department of Psychology

Category: Academic

Description:

The Northwestern University Psychology Colloquium Series Presents:

Thorsten Kahnt

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

 

The nature of expected reward representations in the human orbitofrontal cortex

 

Abstract: Decades of research have shown that the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) plays a key role in goal-directed and value-based behaviors. However, it is still not entirely clear what computations are carried out within the OFC that make this region so critical for these functions. I will discuss recent studies from our lab suggesting that the OFC supports behavior by signaling expectations about specific rewards. Our experiments use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in combination with appetizing food odors, which offer a convenient way to independently manipulate the value and the specific identity of expected rewards. FMRI data are analyzed using pattern-based methods that can detect distributed representations of expected outcomes. Our results demonstrate that the human OFC signals expected outcomes using both identity-specific and general value codes. Moreover, they reveal how satiety differentially alters OFC representations and thus gives rise to phenomena like sensory-specific satiety. These findings are in line with the idea that the OFC supports goal-directed (model-based) behavior by representing the associative structure, or a cognitive map, of our environment.

 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

4:00 pm, Swift Hall 107

Reception to follow

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