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The neural correlates of subjective value during intertemporal choice.

Neuroimaging studies of decision-making have generally related neural activity to objective measures (such as reward magnitude, probability or delay), despite choice preferences being subjective. However, economic theories posit that decision-makers behave as though different options have different subjective values. Here we use functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that neural activity in several brain regions--particularly the ventral striatum, medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex--tracks the revealed subjective value of delayed monetary rewards. This similarity provides unambiguous evidence that the subjective value of potential rewards is explicitly represented in the human brain.

Pubmed ID: 17982449


  • Kable JW
  • Glimcher PW


Nature neuroscience

Publication Data

December 28, 2007

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: F32-MH75544
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS054775
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS054775-02
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01-NS054775

Mesh Terms

  • Adult
  • Brain
  • Brain Mapping
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Oxygen
  • Psychometrics
  • Reinforcement Schedule
  • Reward
  • Time Factors