How conditioned stimuli acquire the ability to activate VTA dopamine cells: a proposed neurobiological component of reward-related learning.

@article{Zellner2010HowCS,
  title={How conditioned stimuli acquire the ability to activate VTA dopamine cells: a proposed neurobiological component of reward-related learning.},
  author={Margaret R Zellner and Robert Ranaldi},
  journal={Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews},
  year={2010},
  volume={34 5},
  pages={769-80}
}
The ability to learn about conditioned stimuli (CS) associated with rewards is a crucial adaptive mechanism. Activity in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, as well as in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), is correlated with responding to and learning about CSs. The mechanism by which VTA neurons become activated by signals associated with conditioned stimuli is not fully understood. Our model suggests that NMDA receptor stimulation in the VTA allows originally weak glutamate signals… CONTINUE READING

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