© 2008 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Recent research on action selection suggests that a useful distinction may be drawn between two systems centered on the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFv) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The PFv is concerned with the selection of actions in response to visual stimuli (stimulus-response mappings) and according to learned arbitrary rules. The ACC is more concerned with reward-guided action selection. This is especially the case when a judgment must be made about whether a reward is worth pursuing, given the probability that the reward will follow the action, or given the effort that will have to be exerted before the reward is obtained. Three lines of evidence supporting this contention are reviewed.

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Book title

Neuroscience of Rule-Guided Behavior

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