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A causal link between reward, aversion learning and dopamine neurons

Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 10:30 - 11:00
Speaker: Anton Ilango Micheal (Otto von Guericke University)
Location: Seminar Room, Lab Building East
Series: Life Sciences Seminar
Contact: KUNES Barbara
Lab building east seminar room

Excitation of midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons are known to be positively reinforcing. Such
reinforcing signals are arising in the form of phasic bursts and both phasic and tonic firing
supports eliciting and strengthening the learning relevant signals. While DA network is
unified in eliciting reward, various heterogenous elements within
the larger network reads the ongoing task relevant details and underlies the acquisition of
action learning even under aversive conditioning. In this talk, I will summarise,
our work over the last several years utilising optogenetic techniques in self-stimulation,
place preference, signaled active avoidance learning and blocking procedures.
Briefly, similar role of substantia nigra (SNc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) in eliciting
reward and aversion, impact of silencing VTA DA during prediction and post diction of cuesignaled
avoidance are presented as well. I will also emphasize various analysis strategies
when reading the behavioral measurements coupled with temporally precise optogenetic
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