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Dopamine regulates multiple brain functions including learning, motivation, and movement. Furthermore, the striatum, a major target of dopamine neurons, is parceled into multiple subregions that are associated with different types of behavior, such as Pavlovian, goal-directed, and habitual behaviors. An important question in the field is how dopamine regulates these diverse functions. It has been thought that midbrain dopamine neurons broadcast a reward prediction error signal to facilitate associative learning. However, recent studies have found more diverse dopamine signals than originally thought. How can we reconcile these results? In this talk, I will discuss our recent studies characterizing diverse dopamine signals, and how these findings can be understood in theoretical frameworks.
Neurobiology Seminar Series