Supplementary eye field encodes reward prediction error

Nayoung So, Veit Stuphorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The outcomes of many decisions are uncertain and therefore need to be evaluated. We studied this evaluation process by recording neuronal activity in the supplementary eye field (SEF) during an oculomotor gambling task. While the monkeys awaited the outcome, SEF neurons represented attributes of the chosen option, namely, its expected value and the uncertainty of this value signal. After the gamble result was revealed, a number of neurons reflected the actual reward outcome. Other neurons evaluated the outcome by encoding the difference between the reward expectation represented during the delay period and the actual reward amount (i.e., the reward prediction error). Thus, SEF encodes not only reward prediction error but also all the components necessary for its computation: the expected and the actual outcome. This suggests that SEF might actively evaluate value-based decisions in the oculomotor domain, independent of other brain regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2950-2963
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number9
StatePublished - Feb 29 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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