Differential dependence of Pavlovian incentive motivation and instrumental incentive learning processes on dopamine signaling.

TitleDifferential dependence of Pavlovian incentive motivation and instrumental incentive learning processes on dopamine signaling.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsWassum, KM, Ostlund SB, Balleine BW, Maidment NT
JournalLearning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.)
Volume18
Issue7
Pagination475-83
Date Published2011
ISSN1549-5485
KeywordsAnimals, Conditioning, Classical, Conditioning, Operant, Dopamine, Dopamine Antagonists, Flupenthixol, Male, Motivation, Rats, Rats, Long-Evans, Reward, Signal Transduction
Abstract

Here we attempted to clarify the role of dopamine signaling in reward seeking. In Experiment 1, we assessed the effects of the dopamine D(1)/D(2) receptor antagonist flupenthixol (0.5 mg/kg i.p.) on Pavlovian incentive motivation and found that flupenthixol blocked the ability of a conditioned stimulus to enhance both goal approach and instrumental performance (Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer). In Experiment 2 we assessed the effects of flupenthixol on reward palatability during post-training noncontingent re-exposure to the sucrose reward in either a control 3-h or novel 23-h food-deprived state. Flupenthixol, although effective in blocking the Pavlovian goal approach, was without effect on palatability or the increase in reward palatability induced by the upshift in motivational state. This noncontingent re-exposure provided an opportunity for instrumental incentive learning, the process by which rats encode the value of a reward for use in updating reward-seeking actions. Flupenthixol administered prior to the instrumental incentive learning opportunity did not affect the increase in subsequent off-drug reward-seeking actions induced by that experience. These data suggest that although dopamine signaling is necessary for Pavlovian incentive motivation, it is not necessary for changes in reward experience, or for the instrumental incentive learning process that translates this experience into the incentive value used to drive reward-seeking actions, and provide further evidence that Pavlovian and instrumental incentive learning processes are dissociable.

DOI10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01024.x
Alternate JournalLearn. Mem.