Yin Lab Publishes Paper in Current Biology: Ventral Tegmental Dopamine Neurons Control the Impulse Vector during Motivated Behavior

Thursday, May 28, 2020
dopamine

Members of the Yin Lab including Ryan Hughes, Konstantin Bakhurin, Elijah Petter, Glenn Watson, Namsoo Kim, Alexander Friedman, and Henry Yin have published a new paper on the functional significance of dopamine in the journal Current Biology.  Despite decades of research, the exact function of dopamine remains controversial.  While many believe that it encodes a reward prediction error (RPE), the Yin Lab's reseach demonstrates in the paper that it actually reflects the impulse vector: the force exerted in a specific direction over time. This is consistent with a large body of past research that implicates dopamine neurons in the exertion of effort and behavioral activation. This significantly extends the knowledge and understanding of the functional significance of dopamine, as well as raises serious questions about decades of research on the exact computational role of ventral tegmental dopamine.

Ventral Tegmental Dopamine Neurons Control the Impulse Vector during Motivated Behavior, Current Biology, Published May 28, 2020 \ DOI