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Life's rewardsLinking dopamine, incentive learning, schizophrenia, and the mind$
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Richard J. Beninger

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198824091

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198824091.001.0001

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Dopamine and the elements of incentive learning

Dopamine and the elements of incentive learning

Chapter:
(p.44) Chapter 3 Dopamine and the elements of incentive learning
Source:
Life's rewards
Author(s):

Richard J. Beninger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198824091.003.0003

Dopamine and the elements of incentive learning explains how, in lever pressing for food tasks, incentive learning produces a gradient of attractiveness of environment stimuli: during magazine training, food activates dopaminergic neurons and the click and food cup become conditioned incentive stimuli, acquiring the ability to elicit approach and other responses; during lever-press training, the click activates dopaminergic neurons and the lever and lever-related stimuli become conditioned incentive stimuli. In conditioned place preference, amphetamine enhances dopaminergic neurotransmission and stimuli paired with amphetamine become conditioned incentive stimuli. In conditioned activity experiments, test-box stimuli paired with a dopamine-enhancer, e.g., cocaine, produce greater activity revealing incentive learning. In conditioned avoidance, the offset of an aversive warning stimulus putatively activates dopaminergic neurons leading safety-related stimuli to become conditioned incentive stimuli. If trained animals are treated with a dopamine receptor blocker, the initially intact ability of conditioned incentive stimuli to control responding declines over trials.

Keywords:   amphetamine, cocaine, conditioned activity, conditioned avoidance, conditioned place preference, dopamine, incentive learning, lever pressing, magazine training, reward

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