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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 March 2021

Dopamine and the elements of incentive learning

Dopamine and the elements of incentive learning

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

Richard J. Beninger

Oxford University Press

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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