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The Orbitofrontal Cortex$
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David Zald and Scott Rauch

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198565741

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198565741.001.0001

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Neurochemical modulation of orbitofrontal cortex function

Neurochemical modulation of orbitofrontal cortex function

(p.393) Chapter 16 Neurochemical modulation of orbitofrontal cortex function
The Orbitofrontal Cortex

Trevor W. Robbins

Luke Clark

Hannah Clarke

Angela C. Roberts

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews evidence indicating a close association of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) with ascending modulatory neurotransmitter systems. It focuses on the neurochemical modulation of performance in such paradigms as reversal learning and risk taking (Cambridge Gamble Task), which have been linked to orbitofrontal functioning based on neuropsychological and neuroimaging analyses. These paradigms have been studied following pharmacological and neurotoxic manipulations of the serotoninergic, dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and cholinergic systems. Manipulations of the serotoninergic system modulate reversal learning and impulsive responding in rodents. In humans, tryptophan depletion has been associated with reversal learning deficits as well as alterations in risky decision-making. Data for orbitofrontal-specific effects of manipulations of the dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and cholinergic modulatory systems are much more limited, although disruption of cholinergic projections in rodents do produce behavioral deficits that are reminiscent of those seen following orbitofrontal lesions.

Keywords:   reversal learning, risk taking, Cambridge Gamble Task, serotoninergic system, impulsive responding, risky decision-making

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