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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2000 Dec;1(3):199-207.

Multiple reward signals in the brain.

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Institute of Physiology and Program in Neuroscience, University of Fribourg, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland.


The fundamental biological importance of rewards has created an increasing interest in the neuronal processing of reward information. The suggestion that the mechanisms underlying drug addiction might involve natural reward systems has also stimulated interest. This article focuses on recent neurophysiological studies in primates that have revealed that neurons in a limited number of brain structures carry specific signals about past and future rewards. This research provides the first step towards an understanding of how rewards influence behaviour before they are received and how the brain might use reward information to control learning and goal-directed behaviour.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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