On the Central Dopaminergic Mechanisms for Motion and Emotion

  • E. Kafetzopoulos
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 56)


According to numerous authors (e.g., Iversen and Koob, 1977; Marshall and Teitelbaum, 1977) motivated activity is mediated by two dopaminergic pathways, the nigro-striatal and the mesolimbic. The nigro-striatal pathway originates from the dopaminergic cells of the pars compacta of the substantia nigra (SNc), known as cell group A9, and terminates in the corpus striatum. The mesolimbic pathway originates from the dopaminergic cells of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), known as cell group A10, and terminates in various structures of the limbic system, mainly in the nucleus accumbens septi (NAS) and the olfactory tubercle. It has been suggested that the nigro-striatal system, with its massive outputs to classic motor circuitries both at cortical and subcortical level, is involved in regulating the motor tone, preparing motor circuits for certain locomotor, postural and behavioral tasks. However, the nigro-striatal system initiates a motor act only when instructed to do so. Where is the brain system that “decides” which motor acts should be initiated?


Ventral Tegmental Area Limbic System Dopaminergic Cell Dopaminergic Activity Corpus Striatum 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Kafetzopoulos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental Pharmacology School of MedicineUniversity of AthensAthensGreece

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