Nucleus Accumbens Shell Dopamine Preferentially Tracks Information Related to Outcome Value of Reward

Deirdre A SackettRegina M Carelli


Effective decision-making requires organisms to predict reward values and bias behavior toward the best available option. The mesolimbic dopamine system, including the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core, is involved in this process. Although studies support a role of the shell and core in specific aspects of decision-making (e.g., risk, effort, delay), no studies have directly compared dopamine release dynamics in these subregions to cues exclusively signaling the availability of different reward magnitudes. Here, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry was used to compare rapid dopamine release dynamics in the NAc subregions during a magnitude-based decision-making task. Rats learned that distinct cues signaled the availability of either a small or large reward (one or two sugar pellets), and then were given an opportunity to choose their preferred option. We found that peak dopamine release tracked the more preferred (higher-magnitude) option in both core and shell subregions. Critically, however, overall (i.e., global) dopamine release was significantly higher and longer lasting in the shell and tracked the preferred magnitude during the entire cue period. Further, in the shell (not core), dopamine signaling significantly declined ...Continue Reading


Jul 26, 2018·Journal of Neurochemistry·Simona ScheggiCarla Gambarana
Oct 31, 2018·Behavioural Pharmacology·Jacqueline-Marie N FerlandCatharine A Winstanley
Dec 22, 2019·The European Journal of Neuroscience·Deirdre A SackettRegina M Carelli
Jan 25, 2019·Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology·Anna M Klawonn, Robert C Malenka
Oct 23, 2019·Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience·Kelsey M MooreRobert L Meisel

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