Reward-guided learning beyond dopamine in the nucleus accumbens: the integrative functions of cortico-basal ganglia networks.


Journal Article (Review)

Here we challenge the view that reward-guided learning is solely controlled by the mesoaccumbens pathway arising from dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area and projecting to the nucleus accumbens. This widely accepted view assumes that reward is a monolithic concept, but recent work has suggested otherwise. It now appears that, in reward-guided learning, the functions of ventral and dorsal striata, and the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry associated with them, can be dissociated. Whereas the nucleus accumbens is necessary for the acquisition and expression of certain appetitive Pavlovian responses and contributes to the motivational control of instrumental performance, the dorsal striatum is necessary for the acquisition and expression of instrumental actions. Such findings suggest the existence of multiple independent yet interacting functional systems that are implemented in iterating and hierarchically organized cortico-basal ganglia networks engaged in appetitive behaviors ranging from Pavlovian approach responses to goal-directed instrumental actions controlled by action-outcome contingencies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yin, HH; Ostlund, SB; Balleine, BW

Published Date

  • October 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1437 - 1448

PubMed ID

  • 18793321

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18793321

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1460-9568

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0953-816X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2008.06422.x


  • eng