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Visual stimuli can acquire positive or negative value through their association with rewards and punishments, a process called reinforcement learning. Although we now know a great deal about how the brain analyses visual information, we know little about how visual representations become linked with values. To study this process, we turned to the amygdala,(More)
Physiological and behavioral evidence suggests that the activity of direction selective neurons in visual cortex underlies the perception of moving visual stimuli. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the effects of cortical microstimulation on perceptual judgements of motion direction. To accomplish this, rhesus monkeys were trained to discriminate the(More)
Animals and humans learn to approach and acquire pleasant stimuli and to avoid or defend against aversive ones. However, both pleasant and aversive stimuli can elicit arousal and attention, and their salience or intensity increases when they occur by surprise. Thus, adaptive behavior may require that neural circuits compute both stimulus valence--or(More)
Neuroscientists, psychologists, clinicians, and economists have long been interested in how individuals weigh information about potential rewarding and aversive stimuli to make decisions and to regulate their emotions. However, we know relatively little about how appetitive and aversive systems interact in the brain, as most prior studies have investigated(More)
As an organism interacts with the world, how good or bad things are at the moment, the value of the current state of the organism, is an important parameter that is likely to be encoded in the brain. As the environment changes and new stimuli appear, estimates of state value must be updated to support appropriate responses and learning. Indeed, many models(More)
We have previously shown that perceptual judgements of motion direction are based in part on the activity of direction selective neurons in extrastriate visual area MT (Salzman et al., 1990, 1992). In those experiments, we applied low-amplitude microstimulation pulses (10 microA, 200 Hz) to clusters of MT neurons whose preferred directions were similar. The(More)
Neurons in the visual cortex respond selectively to perceptually salient features of the visual scene, such as the direction and speed of moving objects, the orientation of local contours, or the colour or relative depth of a visual pattern. It is commonly assumed that the brain constructs its percept of the visual scene from information encoded in the(More)
A stimulus predicting reinforcement can trigger emotional responses, such as arousal, and cognitive ones, such as increased attention toward the stimulus. Neuroscientists have long appreciated that the amygdala mediates spatially nonspecific emotional responses, but it remains unclear whether the amygdala links motivational and spatial representations. To(More)
The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and amygdala are thought to participate in reversal learning, a process in which cue-outcome associations are switched. However, current theories disagree on whether OFC directs reversal learning in the amygdala. Here, we show that during reversal of cues' associations with rewarding and aversive outcomes, neurons that respond(More)
Stimuli that possess inherently rewarding or aversive qualities elicit emotional responses and also induce learning by imparting valence upon neutral sensory cues. Evidence has accumulated implicating the amygdala as a critical structure in mediating these processes. We have developed a genetic strategy to identify the representations of rewarding and(More)