The role of the lOFC in inferring reference points

A hallmark of value-based decision-making is reference dependence, in which rewards are evaluated relative to an internal reference point that likely reflects expectations. Previous work has often assumed that reference points are retrospective, deriving directly from past experiences. Here, we show that rats can use inference to compute and switch between multiple reference points, and that the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC) is required for this capacity. I will present results from ongoing behavioural modelling, perturbation experiments, and electrophysiological recordings from lOFC in rats performing a task that provides a behavioural readout of reference-dependent subjective value.