The human orbitofrontal cortex: linking reward to hedonic experience.
Hedonic experience is arguably at the heart of what makes us human. In recent neuroimaging studies of the cortical networks that mediate hedonic experience in the human brain, the orbitofrontal cortex has emerged as the strongest candidate for linking food and other types of reward to hedonic experience. The orbitofrontal cortex is among the least understood regions of the human brain, but has been proposed to be involved in sensory integration, in representing the affective value of reinforcers, and in decision making and expectation. Here, the functional neuroanatomy of the human orbitofrontal cortex is described and a new integrated model of its functions proposed, including a possible role in the mediation of hedonic experience.