Individual choices are not made in isolation but are embedded in a series of past experiences, decisions, and outcomes. The effects of past experiences on choices, often called sequential biases, are ubiquitous in perceptual and value-based decision-making, but their neural substrates are unclear. We trained rats to choose between cued guaranteed and probabilistic rewards in a task in which outcomes on each trial were independent. Behavioral variability often reflected sequential effects, including increased willingness to take risks following risky wins, and spatial ‘win-stay/lose-shift’ biases. Recordings from lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC) revealed encoding of reward history and receipt, and optogenetic inhibition of lOFC eliminated rats’ increased preference for risk following risky wins, but spared other sequential effects. Our data show that different sequential biases are neurally dissociable, and the lOFC’s role in adaptive behavior promotes learning of more abstract biases (here, biases for the risky option), but not spatial ones.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)