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  • Writer's pictureKaun Lab

Dopamine determines how reward overrides risk

Dr. Kristin Scaplen and Karla collaborated on a new Nature News & Views entitled 'Dopamine determines how reward overrides risk' highlighting a new paper from Scott Waddell's lab at Oxford.

We review how Jovanoski et al describe a network of opposing reward- and punishment-encoding dopamine neurons responsible for behavioural choice in 'Dopaminergic systems create reward seeking despite adverse consequences'. The reward dopamine neurons indirectly impair the function of the punishment dopamine neurons, and this drives unconstrained reward seeking. This work provides a fundamental framework for understanding how animals remember rewards and overcome aversive stimuli to seek them. It will be interesting to see how intoxicating substances override this network framework to influence behavioral choice!

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