Rick L. Jenison, Antonio Rangel, Hiroyuki Oya, Hiroto Kawasaki, and Matthew A. Howard
The Journal of Neuroscience, January 5, 2011, 31(1):331-338
A growing consensus suggests that the brain makes simple choices by assigning values to the stimuli under consideration and then comparing these values to make a decision. However, the network involved in computing the values has not yet been fully characterized. Here, we investigated whether the human amygdala plays a role in the computation of stimulus values at the time of decision making. We recorded single neuron activity from the amygdala of awake patients while they made simple purchase decisions over food items. We found 16 amygdala neurons, located primarily in the basolateral nucleus that responded linearly to the values assigned to individual items.