Article abstract

Nature Neuroscience 10, 1625 - 1633 (2007)
Published online: 4 November 2007 | Corrected online: 11 November 2007 | doi:10.1038/nn2007

The neural correlates of subjective value during intertemporal choice

Joseph W Kable1 & Paul W Glimcher1

Neuroimaging studies of decision-making have generally related neural activity to objective measures (such as reward magnitude, probability or delay), despite choice preferences being subjective. However, economic theories posit that decision-makers behave as though different options have different subjective values. Here we use functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that neural activity in several brain regions—particularly the ventral striatum, medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex—tracks the revealed subjective value of delayed monetary rewards. This similarity provides unambiguous evidence that the subjective value of potential rewards is explicitly represented in the human brain.

  1. Center for Neural Science, New York University, 4 Washington Place, Room 809, New York, New York 10003, USA.

Correspondence to: Joseph W Kable1 e-mail:

Correspondence to: Paul W Glimcher1 e-mail:

* In the version of this article initially published online, the URL for reference 39 was incorrect. The correct URL should be The error has been corrected for all versions of the article.


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