Science 19 September 2008: Vol. 321. no. 5896, pp. 1690 - 1692
We used in vivo voltammetry and in vitro patch-clamp electrophysiology to show that both dopamine release to reward predictive cues and enhanced synaptic strength onto dopamine neurons develop over the course of cue-reward learning. Increased synaptic strength was not observed after stable behavioral responding.
Thus, enhanced synaptic strength onto dopamine neurons may act to facilitate the transformation of neutral environmental stimuli to salient reward-predictive cues.
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