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Behav Neurosci. 2005 Feb;119(1):5-15.

Distinguishing whether dopamine regulates liking, wanting, and/or learning about rewards.

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Neurobiology and Behavior Program, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.


To determine whether dopamine regulates liking, wanting, and/or learning about rewards during goal-directed behavior, the authors tested genetically engineered dopamine-deficient (DD) mice for acquisition of an appetitive T-maze task with and without endogenous dopamine signaling. Experiment 1 established that DD mice treated with L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-dopa [LD]) perform similarly to controls on a T-maze task designed to measure liking, wanting, and learning about rewards. Experiment 2, which tested saline-, caffeine-, and LD-treated DD mice on the T maze, separated performance factors from cognitive processes and revealed that dopamine is not necessary for mice to like or learn about rewards but is necessary for mice to seek (want) rewards during goal-directed behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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