Computational roles for dopamine in behavioural control.

Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, 1 Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 11/2004; 431(7010):760-7. DOI: 10.1038/nature03015
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Neuromodulators such as dopamine have a central role in cognitive disorders. In the past decade, biological findings on dopamine function have been infused with concepts taken from computational theories of reinforcement learning. These more abstract approaches have now been applied to describe the biological algorithms at play in our brains when we form value judgements and make choices. The application of such quantitative models has opened up new fields, ripe for attack by young synthesizers and theoreticians.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Feeding behaviour, through both diet selection and food intake, is the predominant way that an animal attempts to fulfil its metabolic requirements and achieve homeostasis. In domestic herbivores across the wide range of production practices, voluntary feed intake is arguably the most important factor in animal production, and a better understanding of systems involved in intake regulation can have important practical implications in terms of performance, health and welfare. In this review, we provide a conceptual framework that highlights the critical involvement and interconnections of two major regulatory systems of feeding behaviour: the reward and the homeostatic systems. A review of the literature on ruminants and rodents provides evidence that feeding behaviour is not only shaped by homeostatic needs but also by hedonic and motivational incentives associated with foods through experiences and expectations of rewards. The different brain structures and neuronal/hormonal pathways involved in these two regulatory systems is evidence of their different influences on feeding behaviours that help explain deviation from behaviour based solely on satisfying nutritional needs, and offers opportunities to influence feeding motivation to meet applied goals in livestock production. This review further highlights the key contribution of experience in the short (behavioural learning) and long term (metabolic learning), including the critical role of fetal environment in shaping feeding behaviour both directly by food cue–consequence pairings and indirectly via modifications of metabolic functioning, with cascading effects on energy balance and body reserves and, consequently, on feeding motivation.
    Animal Production Science 02/2015; 55(3):247-260. DOI:10.1071/AN14481 · 1.03 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ninety-four smokers completed the delay discounting procedure for either hypothetical amounts of money, $10 (money) and $1000 (money) or hypothetical amounts of cigarettes ($10 and $1000 worth of cigarettes). We investigated how variables previously found to be related to rates of delay discounting accounted for the observed results. These variables included the following: demographic information, smoking characteristics, executive function abilities, impulsivity, time perception, and the Utility Measure of Cigarette Reinforcing Efficacy (UMCE). Education level and UMCE were each significantly correlated with 3 out of 4 of the discounting measures. Moreover, the largest effect sizes observed were between these two measures and the four discounting measures. All potential discounting predictors were also investigated using step-wise linear regression with Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) analysis - these BIC models revealed that education level and UMCE accounted for large portions of the variance. We conclude that education level and UMCE were the most consistent predictors of discounting. This data is discussed within the framework of a widely accepted neuroeconomic model that suggests that two brain systems separately assess two separate facets of decision-making, and the interplay between these two systems determines self-control in smokers. We hypothesize that education level and UMCE may serve as surrogate measures of the functionality of these two systems and that discounting may be a sentinel measure of self-control. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Addictive Behaviors 01/2015; 45C:124-133. DOI:10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.01.027 · 2.44 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Addiction is considered a disorder that drives individuals to choose drugs at the expense of healthier alternatives. However, chronic cocaine users (CCUs) who meet addiction criteria retain the ability to choose money in the presence of the opportunity to choose cocaine. The neural mechanisms that differentiate CCUs from non-cocaine using controls (Controls) while executing these preferred choices remain unknown. Thus, therapeutic strategies aimed at shifting preferences towards healthier alternatives remain somewhat uninformed. This study used BOLD neuroimaging to examine brain activity as fifty CCUs and Controls performed single- and cross-commodity intertemporal choice tasks for money and/or cocaine. Behavioral analyses revealed preferences for each commodity type. Imaging analyses revealed the brain activity that differentiated CCUs from Controls while choosing money over cocaine. We observed that CCUs devalued future commodities more than Controls. Choices for money as opposed to cocaine correlated with greater activity in dorsal striatum of CCUs, compared to Controls. In addition, choices for future money as opposed to immediate cocaine engaged the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of CCUs more than Controls. These data suggest that the ability of CCUs to execute choices away from cocaine relies on activity in the dorsal striatum and left DLPFC.
    08/2014; 2014:189853. DOI:10.1155/2014/189853


Available from