The striatum is thought to play a crucial role in value-based decision making. Although a large body of evidence suggests its involvement in action selection as well as action evaluation, underlying neural processes for these functions of the striatum are largely unknown. To obtain insights on this matter, we simultaneously recorded neuronal activity in the dorsal and ventral striatum of rats performing a dynamic two-armed bandit task, and examined temporal profiles of neural signals related to animal's choice, its outcome, and action value. Whereas significant neural signals for action value were found in both structures before animal's choice of action, signals related to the upcoming choice were relatively weak and began to emerge only in the dorsal striatum approximately 200 ms before the behavioral manifestation of the animal's choice. In contrast, once the animal revealed its choice, signals related to choice and its value increased steeply and persisted until the outcome of animal's choice was revealed, so that some neurons in both structures concurrently conveyed signals related to animal's choice, its outcome, and the value of chosen action. Thus, all the components necessary for updating values of chosen actions were available in the striatum. These results suggest that the striatum not only represents values associated with potential choices before animal's choice of action, but might also update the value of chosen action once its outcome is revealed. In contrast, action selection might take place elsewhere or in the dorsal striatum only immediately before its behavioral manifestation.
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