Real-life choices often require that we draw inferences about the value of options based on structured, schematic knowledge about their utility for our current goals. Other times, value information may be retrieved directly from a specific prior experience with an option. In an fMRI experiment, we investigated the neural systems involved in retrieving and assessing information from different memory sources to support value-based choice. Participants completed a task in which items could be conferred positive or negative value based on schematic associations (i.e., schema value) or learned directly from experience via deterministic feedback (i.e., experienced value). We found that ventromedial pFC (vmPFC) activity correlated with the influence of both experience- and schema-based values on participants' decisions. Connectivity between the vmPFC and middle temporal cortex also tracked the inferred value of items based on schematic associations on the first presentation of ingredients, before any feedback. In contrast, the striatum responded to participants' willingness to bet on ingredients as a function of the unsigned strength of their memory for those options' values. These results argue that the striatum and vmPFC play distinct roles in memory-based value judgment and decision-making. Specifically, the vmPFC assesses the value of options based on information inferred from schematic knowledge and retrieved from prior direct experience, whereas the striatum controls a decision to act on options based on memory strength.

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