SBRI seminar by Alicia Izquierdo

On The July 4, 2019

from 11am
SBRI conference room

Corticoamygdalar circuits in reinforcement learning under uncertainty

Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) have been assigned various overlapping roles ranging from learning and responding to reward, signaling value and uncertainty, and supporting economic decisions, to name a few. Both of these regions share reciprocal anatomical connections with basolateral amygdala, and not surprisingly, there is a great deal of functional similarity among these circuits. Using a combination of novel behavioral paradigms, DREADDs, calcium imaging, and computational modeling, our lab has sought better resolution of these diverse frontocortical processes in the rat. In this talk I will present data comparing OFC and ACC, together with basolateral amygdala, in flexible reinforcement learning under uncertainty. Our results suggest highly overlapping, less specialized, roles for ACC and OFC in learning under uncertainty that point toward a shared role of both structures in keeping track of outcomes over time, with repeated experience. Our more recent data will be discussed with an eye toward similarities in ACC and OFC function across cognitive domains, from perceptual to value- based decisions. Collectively these findings may have implications for how we view frontocortical contributions to reinforcement learning and value-based decision making across rodent and primate species.

Alicia Izquierdo, University of California, Los Angeles