The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
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Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) have all been implicated in resolving decision conflict whether this conflict is generated by having to select between responses of similar value or by making selections following a reversal in reinforcement contingencies. However, work distinguishing their individual functional contributions remains preliminary. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to delineate the functional role of these systems with regard to both forms of decision conflict. Within dmPFC and dlPFC, blood oxygen level-dependent responses increased in response to decision conflict regardless of whether the conflict occurred in the context of a reduction in the difference in relative value between objects, or an error following a reversal of reinforcement contingencies. Conjunction analysis confirmed that overlapping regions of dmPFC and dlPFC were activated by both forms of decision conflict. Unlike these regions, however, activity in IFG was not modulated by reductions in the relative value of available options. Moreover, although all three regions of prefrontal cortex showed enhanced activity to reversal errors, only dmPFC and dlPFC were also modulated by the magnitude of value change during the reversal. These data are interpreted with reference to models of dmPFC, dlPFC, and IFG functioning.