Cocaine addiction is characterized by poor judgment and maladaptive decision-making. Here we review evidence implicating the orbitofrontal cortex in such behavior. This evidence suggests that cocaine-induced changes in orbitofrontal cortex disrupt the representation of states and transition functions that form the basis of flexible and adaptive 'model-based' behavioral control. By impairing this function, cocaine exposure leads to an overemphasis on less flexible, maladaptive 'model-free' control systems. We propose that such an effect accounts for the complex pattern of maladaptive behaviors associated with cocaine addiction.
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