Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Dopamine, Reward, and Attention

Science's STKE  08 Mar 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 274, pp. tw93
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2742005tw93

What is the functional significance of the fast-burst firing of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, and what are the normal afferents projecting to these cells that carry the information to which the neurons respond? Dommett et al. found that the superior colliculus is the major input source of short-latency visual responses of dopaminergic neurons. The induction of visual responses in dopaminergic neurons leads to an increase in dopamine release in the striatum. However, dopaminergic cells only responded to the novel visual stimuli when the colliculus was pharmacologically disinhibited.

E. Dommett, V. Coizet, C. D. Blaha, J. Martindale, V. Lefebvre, N. Walton, J. E. W. Mayhew, P. G. Overton, P. Redgrave, How visual stimuli activate dopaminergic neurons at short latency. Science 307, 1476-1479 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]