Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Viewpoints: Dialogues on the functional role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex

The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is attributed with various functions during valuation, affect regulation and social cognition. Nature Neuroscience asked a moderator to lead researchers in a dialogue on shared and distinct viewpoints of this region's roles.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. Smith, D.V. et al. J. Neurosci. 30, 2490–2495 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Phelps, E.A., Delgado, M.R., Nearing, K.I. & LeDoux, J.E. Neuron 43, 897–905 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Diekhof, E.K., Geier, K., Falkai, P. & Gruber, O. Neuroimage 58, 275–285 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Apps, M.A., Rushworth, M.F. & Chang, S.W. Neuron 90, 692–707 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Macrae, C.N., Moran, J.M., Heatherton, T.F., Banfield, J.F. & Kelley, W.M. Cereb. Cortex 14, 647–654 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Murray, R.J., Schaer, M. & Debbané, M. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 36, 1043–1059 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Flagan, T. & Beer, J.S. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 7, 450 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Hughes, B.L. & Beer, J.S. J. Cogn. Neurosci. 25, 613–622 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Hughes, B.L. & Beer, J.S. Neuroimage 61, 889–898 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Bartra, O., McGuire, J.T. & Kable, J.W. Neuroimage 76, 412–427 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Abitbol, R. et al. J. Neurosci. 35, 2308–2320 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Hare, T.A., Camerer, C.F. & Rangel, A. Science 324, 646–648 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Henri-Bhargava, A., Simioni, A. & Fellows, L.K. Neuropsychologia 50, 1536–1542 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Fellows, L.K. Brain 129, 944–952 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Tsuchida, A., Doll, B.B. & Fellows, L.K. J. Neurosci. 30, 16868–16875 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Noonan, M.P., Kolling, N., Walton, M.E. & Rushworth, M.F.S. Eur. J. Neurosci. 35, 997–1010 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Sotres-Bayon, F., Cain, C.K. & LeDoux, J.E. Biol. Psychiatry 60, 329–336 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Milad, M.R. & Quirk, G.J. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 63, 129–151 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Rhodes, S.E. & Killcross, A.S. Eur. J. Neurosci. 25, 2498–2503 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Peters, J., Kalivas, P.W. & Quirk, G.J. Learn. Mem. 16, 279–288 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Van den Oever, M.C. et al. J. Neurosci. 33, 18225–18233 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Bravo-Rivera, C., Roman-Ortiz, C., Brignoni-Perez, E., Sotres-Bayon, F. & Quirk, G.J. J. Neurosci. 34, 9736–9742 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Fiorenza, N.G., Rosa, J., Izquierdo, I. & Myskiw, J.C. Behav. Brain Res. 232, 210–216 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Schiller, D. & Delgado, M.R. Trends Cogn. Sci. 14, 268–276 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Collins, K.A., Mendelsohn, A., Cain, C.K. & Schiller, D. J. Neurosci. 34, 14733–14738 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Milad, M.R. et al. Biol. Psychiatry 66, 1075–1082 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Mitchell, J.P., Banaji, M.R. & Macrae, C.N. J. Cogn. Neurosci. 17, 1306–1315 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Chang, S.W. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110 Suppl 2, 10387–10394 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Rudebeck, P.H., Buckley, M.J., Walton, M.E. & Rushworth, M.F.S. Science 313, 1310–1312 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. Rushworth, M.F., Mars, R.B. & Sallet, J. Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 23, 436–442 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. Chang, S.W., Gariépy, J.F. & Platt, M.L. Nat. Neurosci. 16, 243–250 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. Schlichting, M.L. & Preston, A.R. Curr. Opin. Behav. Sci. 1, 1–8 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Vaidya, A.R. & Fellows, L.K. Nat. Commun. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10120 (2015).

  34. Feinstein, J.S. et al. Nat. Neurosci. 16, 270–272 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  35. Anderson, A.K. & Phelps, E.A. J. Cogn. Neurosci. 14, 709–720 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Bukalo, O. et al. Sci. Adv. 1, e1500251 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Do-Monte, F.H., Manzano-Nieves, G., Quiñones-Laracuente, K., Ramos-Medina, L. & Quirk, G.J. J. Neurosci. 35, 3607–3615 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  38. Clem, R.L. & Schiller, D. Trends Neurosci. 39, 340–351 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  39. Levy, D.J. & Glimcher, P.W. Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 22, 1027–1038 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  40. Ruff, C.C. & Fehr, E. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 15, 549–562 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  41. Winecoff, A. et al. J. Neurosci. 33, 11032–11039 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  42. Stalnaker, T.A., Cooch, N.K. & Schoenbaum, G. Nat. Neurosci. 18, 620–627 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  43. Xia, C., Stolle, D., Gidengil, E. & Fellows, L.K. J. Neurosci. 35, 8507–8514 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  44. Bechara, A., Damasio, H., Tranel, D. & Damasio, A.R. Science 275, 1293–1295 (1997).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  45. Zhang, Z., Mendelsohn, A., Manson, K., Schiller, D. & Levy, I. eNeuro http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/eneuro.0072-15.2015 (2015).

  46. Ito, T.A. & Bartholow, B.D. Trends Cogn. Sci. 13, 524–531 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Mitchell, J.P., Cloutier, J., Banaji, M.R. & Macrae, C.N. Soc. Cogn. Affect. Neurosci. 1, 49–55 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Watson, K.K. & Platt, M.L. Curr. Biol. 22, 2268–2273 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  49. Zald, D.H. & Andreotti, C. Neuropsychologia 48, 3377–3391 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Hayden, B.Y., Pearson, J.M. & Platt, M.L. Science 324, 948–950 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  51. Amat, J. et al. Nat. Neurosci. 8, 365–371 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  52. Hartley, C.A., Gorun, A., Reddan, M.C., Ramirez, F. & Phelps, E.A. Neurobiol. Learn. Mem. 113, 149–156 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Maier, S.F. & Watkins, L.R. Brain Res. 1355, 52–60 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  54. Kiyokawa, Y., Takeuchi, Y. & Mori, Y. Eur. J. Neurosci. 26, 3606–3613 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Golkar, A., Selbing, I., Flygare, O., Ohman, A. & Olsson, A. Psychol. Sci. 24, 2182–2190 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Golkar, A., Haaker, J., Selbing, I. & Olsson, A. Soc. Cogn. Affect. Neurosci. 11, 1541–1549 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Kable, J.W. & Glimcher, P.W. Nat. Neurosci. 10, 1625–1633 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  58. Cho, J.H., Deisseroth, K. & Bolshakov, V.Y. Neuron 80, 1491–1507 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  59. Strobel, C., Marek, R., Gooch, H.M., Sullivan, R.K. & Sah, P. Cell Reports 10, 1435–1442 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  60. Adhikari, A. et al. Nature 527, 179–185 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  61. Senn, V. et al. Neuron 81, 428–437 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  62. Amano, T., Unal, C.T. & Paré, D. Nat. Neurosci. 13, 489–494 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  63. Logothetis, N.K., Pauls, J., Augath, M., Trinath, T. & Oeltermann, A. Nature 412, 150–157 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  64. Logothetis, N.K. & Wandell, B.A. Annu. Rev. Physiol. 66, 735–769 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  65. Sirotin, Y.B. & Das, A. Nature 457, 475–479 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  66. Jenkins, A.C. & Mitchell, J.P. Cereb. Cortex 20, 404–410 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Ames, D.L. & Fiske, S.T. Neuroimage 83, 599–608 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Heilbronner, S.R., Rodriguez-Romaguera, J., Quirk, G.J., Groenewegen, H.J. & Haber, S.N. Biol. Psychiatry 80, 509–521 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Lin, A., Adolphs, R. & Rangel, A. Soc. Cogn. Affect. Neurosci. 7, 274–281 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Roy, M., Shohamy, D. & Wager, T.D. Trends Cogn. Sci. 16, 147–156 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Pearson, J.M., Watson, K.K. & Platt, M.L. Neuron 82, 950–965 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Supplementary information

Supplementary Note 1

A brief anatomical sketch of human ventromedial prefrontal cortex (PDF 365 kb)

Supplementary Note 2

VmPFC function: the value proposition (PDF 335 kb)

Supplementary Note 3

The affective regulation perspective of vmPFC function (PDF 288 kb)

Supplementary Note 4

An overview of human and animal research on the social cognitive function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (PDF 279 kb)

Supplementary Note 5

VIEWPOINTS: Dialogues on the functional role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (UNABRIDGED) (PDF 1270 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Delgado, M., Beer, J., Fellows, L. et al. Viewpoints: Dialogues on the functional role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Nat Neurosci 19, 1545–1552 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4438

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4438

This article is cited by

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing