Kirsten A. Porter-Stransky, Jillian L. Seiler, Jeremy J. Day and Brandon J. Aragona Development of behavioral preferences for the optimal choice following unexpected reward omission is mediated by a reduction of D2-like receptor tone in the nucleus accumbens European Journal of Neuroscience 38
This study investigates the role of dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens in altering behavior in response to the omission of an expected reward. Similarly to controls, multiple doses of a D1-like receptor agonist, D1-like receptor antagonist, and D2-like receptor antagonist do not prevent subjects from developing a robust behavioral preference for the rewarded lever and avoiding the omitted-reward lever during the first session of reward omission. However, the D2-like agonist quinpirole dose-dependently blocks a behavioral preference for the rewarded lever, suggesting that reductions in D2-like receptor tone are necessary for altering behavior away from an aversive option and toward the optimal choice.
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