Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

Living Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Computation with Dopaminergic Modulation

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7320-6_631-3


Dopamine (DA) is a neuromodulator released by midbrain neurons with widespread projections throughout the brain. Dopaminergic modulation has diverse effects on cellular, motor, and cognitive functions, including reinforcement learning, working memory, and attention. Dysregulation of dopamine also plays a central role in the breakdown of these functions in disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia.

Detailed Description

Dopamine Basics

DA is a neuromodulator released by neurons in two nuclei of the midbrain: the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). The axons of these neurons project to a large number of cortical and subcortical areas. Prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, and the striatum are among the most densely innervated areas. DA release tends to be fairly homogeneous across DA neurons, by virtue of electrical coupling between the axons of adjacent neurons, which induces highly synchronous firing. As pointed out by Paul...


Prediction Error Reinforcement Learning Pathological Gambling Active Maintenance Gain Modulation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Neuroscience InstitutePrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA