Dorsolateral prefrontal neurons mediate subjective decisions and their variation in humans

Mohsen Jamali, Ben Grannan, Keren Haroush, Ziev B. Moses, Emad N. Eskandar, Todd Herrington, Shaun Patel, Ziv M. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Subjective decisions play a vital role in human behavior because, while often grounded in fact, they are inherently based on personal beliefs that can vary broadly within and between individuals. While these properties set subjective decisions apart from many other sensorimotor processes and are of wide sociological impact, their single-neuronal basis in humans is unknown. Here we find cells in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) that reflect variations in the subjective decisions of humans when performing opinion-based tasks. These neurons changed their activities gradually as the participants transitioned between choice options but also reflected their unique point of conversion at equipoise. Focal disruption of the dlPFC, by contrast, diminished gradation between opposing decisions but had little effect on sensory perceptual choices or their motor report. These findings suggest that the human dlPFC plays an important role in subjective decisions and propose a mechanism for mediating their variation during opinion formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1020
Number of pages11
JournalNature Neuroscience
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Jamali, M., Grannan, B., Haroush, K., Moses, Z. B., Eskandar, E. N., Herrington, T., Patel, S., & Williams, Z. M. (2019). Dorsolateral prefrontal neurons mediate subjective decisions and their variation in humans. Nature Neuroscience, 22(6), 1010-1020. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-019-0378-3