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Mark Walton

Neuroscience Symposium

Date 26 May 2023
Research group Willuhn
Location Amsterdam
Program 4:00 p.m - Connecting striatal dopamine with reward-driven action
4:45 p.m - Discussion and Drinks

Guest speaker:
Mark Walton
BA MSc DPhil
Wellcome Senior Research Fellow. Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience. University of Oxford.

Title: Connecting striatal dopamine with reward-driven action.

It is widely accepted that the activity of many dopamine neurons and dopamine release in parts of the striatum signal new information about potential future rewards, which in turn can be used to shape decision making. Nonetheless, the precise content and function of these dopamine signals remains a matter of controversy. I’ll present ongoing work examining how dopaminergic correlates of reward prediction and choice recorded in rodents are modulated by action requirements, task structure and context, and how disrupting these
signals alters behaviour. These data – along with others’ – demonstrate that dopamine activity can be shaped by a mixture of influences over different timescales and across different parts of striatum. However, while dopamine might report a rich range of signals, its causal influence over reward-guided behaviour can nonetheless be surprisingly constrained.

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