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Séminaire impromptu - Geoffrey Schoenbaum How do you (estimate you will) like them apples? The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in imagining outcomes and changes caused by the use of an addictive drug

Abstract :

Geoffrey Schoenbaum,  une invitation d'Etienne Coutureau

The orbitofrontal cortex is often critical to value-guided behavior and learning.  I will review evidence from inactivation and single-unit recording studies that suggests this is only true when the underlying value must be derived or estimated through a knowledge of the underlying associative structure of the environment and not when it can be pre-computed or cached based on direct prior experience. If time permits, I will present parallel data showing that this function is selectively disrupted in rats after self-administration of cocaine.

Selected publications

  1. Lucantonio F, Stalnaker TA, Shaham Y, Niv Y, Schoenbaum G. The impact of orbitofrontal dysfunction on cocaine addiction. Nat Neurosci. 2012 Jan 22;15(3):358-66. 
  2. Schoenbaum G, Takahashi Y, Liu TL, McDannald MA. Does the orbitofrontal cortex signal value? Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Dec;1239:87-99. 
  3. Takahashi YK, Roesch MR, Wilson RC, Toreson K, O'Donnell P, Niv Y, Schoenbaum G. Expectancy-related changes in firing of dopamine neurons depend on orbitofrontal cortex. Nat Neurosci. 2011 Oct 30;14(12):1590-7. 
  4. Roesch MR, Calu DJ, Esber GR, Schoenbaum G. Neural correlates of variations in event processing during learning in basolateral amygdala. J Neurosci. 2010 Feb 17;30(7):2464-71. 
  5. Schoenbaum G, Roesch MR, Stalnaker TA, Takahashi YK. A new perspective on the role of the orbitofrontal cortex in adaptive behaviour. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009 Dec;10(12):885-92. Epub 2009 Nov 11. Review. 
  6. Burke KA, Franz TM, Miller DN, Schoenbaum G. The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in the pursuit of happiness and more specific rewards. Nature. 2008 Jul 17;454(7202):340-4. Epub 2008 Jun 18. 
  7. Roesch MR, Calu DJ, Schoenbaum G. Dopamine neurons encode the better option in rats deciding between differently delayed or sized rewards. Nat Neurosci. 2007 Dec;10(12):1615-24. Epub 2007 Nov 18. 

Scientific focus :

Our lab is interested in the neural circuits mediating associative learning and decision making and how alterations in those circuits contribute to maladaptive behaviors in neuropsychiatric disorders such as addiction. We use rats as a model system to study behaviors and neural circuits that we believe have direct relevance to understanding the human brain. Areas of particular interest include the orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala, striatum, and midbrain dopamine system. Our lab uses behavioral tasks based on principles derived from learning theory, combined with single unit recording, lesions, pharmacological and genetic manipulations to test hypotheses about how these areas interact to support learning and adaptive behavior.

Etienne Coutureau (etienne.coutureau @