Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d'Aquitaine (UMR5287)

Aquitaine Institute for Cognitive and Integrative Neuroscience

Université de Bordeaux

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33076 Bordeaux cedex


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CNRS Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Université de Bordeaux

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Neurocampus Unitéde Formation de Biologie


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Cortical determinants of goal-directed action

by Wolff - published on

Cortical determinants of goal-directed action

Shauna Parkes and Etienne Coutureau (Team DECAD), contributed to a new book on Decision Making with a chapter entitled “Cortical determinants of goal-directed action”.

Goal-Directed Decision Making (1st edition)

Appropriate decision-making is critical for adapting to a changing environment. Every day, we must make decisions based on internal goals, and the expectation that a given action will lead to goal achievement. Such decisions are experimentally defined as “goal-directed.” Several regions of the mammalian cortex are involved in the integration of sensory, affective, and cognitive information to guide flexible choice between competing actions. Current evidence indicates that, in the rat, these regions principally involve the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and insular cortex (IC). Importantly, the emerging view is that each of these areas provides a distinct contribution to goal-directed behavior. Cortical coordination may therefore prove essential to flexible action control. This chapter outlines what we know about the involvement of these cortices in goal-directed behavior and proposes avenues for future research in the cortical control of choice.