Mitchell F. Roitman

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The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a key component of the brain's reward pathway, yet little is known of how NAc cells respond to primary rewarding or aversive stimuli. Here, naive rats received brief intraoral infusions of sucrose and quinine paired with cues in a classical conditioning paradigm while the electrophysiological activity of individual NAc neurons(More)
The dopamine projection to the nucleus accumbens has been implicated in behaviors directed toward the acquisition and consumption of natural rewards. The neurochemical studies that established this link made time-averaged measurements over minutes, and so the precise temporal relationship between dopamine changes and these behaviors is not known. To resolve(More)
The ability to predict favorable outcomes using environmental cues is an essential part of learned behavior. Dopamine neurons in the midbrain encode such stimulus-reward relationships in a manner consistent with contemporary learning models, but it is unclear how encoding this translates into actual dopamine release in target regions. Here, we sampled(More)
Rewarding and aversive stimuli evoke very different patterns of behavior and are rapidly discriminated. Here taste stimuli of opposite hedonic valence evoked opposite patterns of dopamine and metabolic activity within milliseconds in the nucleus accumbens. This rapid encoding may serve to guide ongoing behavioral responses and promote plastic changes in(More)
Transient increases in nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine concentration are observed when animals are presented with motivationally salient stimuli and are theorized to energize reward seeking. They arise from high-frequency firing of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), which also results in the release of endocannabinoids from dopamine cell(More)
Kappa opioid receptors (KORs) have been implicated in depressive-like states associated with chronic administration of drugs of abuse and stress. Although KOR agonists decrease dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), KOR modulation of phasic dopamine release in the core and shell subregions of the NAc—which have distinct roles in reward processing—remains(More)
Cocaine acts as a reinforcer through its pharmacological effects on brain monoaminergic systems, which, through repeated pairings with environmental stimuli, lead to the development of conditioned effects of the drug. Both the pharmacological and conditioned aspects of cocaine are implicated in several facets of acquisition and maintenance of addiction,(More)
Adaptive motivated behavior requires rapid discrimination between beneficial and harmful stimuli. Such discrimination leads to the generation of either an approach or rejection response, as appropriate, and enables organisms to maximize reward and minimize punishment. Classically, the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the dopamine projection to it are considered(More)
When consumption of a novel taste (conditioned stimulus; CS) is followed by exposure to a toxin, organisms will avoid consumption of that taste in the future. This learned response, known as a conditioned taste aversion (CTA), can be demonstrated using a variety of drugs, including lithium chloride (LiCl) and ethanol. c-Fos immunohistochemistry was used to(More)
Drugs of abuse hijack brain-reward circuitry during the addiction process by augmenting action potential-dependent phasic dopamine release events associated with learning and goal-directed behavior. One prominent exception to this notion would appear to be amphetamine (AMPH) and related analogs, which are proposed instead to disrupt normal patterns of(More)