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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

Article first published online: 22 MAY 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12253

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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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