Rapid dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens shell, but not core, encodes reward magnitude-based decision making Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Sackett, Deirdre
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Abstract
  • 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) core and shell, is involved in this process. While studies support a differential role of the core and shell in subjective versus outcome based decision making, no studies have examined dopamine release to cues signaling the availability of different reward magnitudes. Here, electrochemical methods were used in rats to measure shell versus core dopamine release during a magnitude decision making task in which discrete cues signaled the availability of different reward sizes. Dopamine release in the shell (not core), preferentially tracks cues that predict the large preferred reward. Further, unique dopamine release dynamics are observed in the shell, but not core, upon lever press. These findings indicate a differential role of the core and shell in subjective, versus outcome-based, aspects of value-based decision-making.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Thiele, Todd
  • Carelli, Regina
  • Lysle, Donald
Degree
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016
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