To make adaptive decisions we must cast ourselves into the future and consider the outcomes of our potential choices. To do this, we use events that we can detect in the environment, such as the presence of stimuli or action possibilities, to enable the mental representation of the critical information needed to make the choice: future potential outcome states. I will discuss our lab’s recent work investigating the neural circuits responsible for encoding, updating, and retrieving outcome information for use in the considerations underlying decision making. We have taken a multifaceted approach to these investigations, combining modern recording, pathway-specific manipulation, and behavioral tools. Our results are generally indicating that the basolateral amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex function as a reciprocal circuit to participate in these functions. The cognitive symptoms underlying many psychiatric disorders result from a failure to appropriately learn about and/or anticipate potential future events, making these basic science data relevant to the understanding and potential treatment of mental illness.