Show Reference: "{BOLD} Responses Reflecting Dopaminergic Signals in the Human Ventral Tegmental Area"

BOLD Responses Reflecting Dopaminergic Signals in the Human Ventral Tegmental Area Science, Vol. 319, No. 5867. (29 February 2008), pp. 1264-1267, doi:10.1126/science.1150605 by Kimberlee D'Ardenne, Samuel M. McClure, Leigh E. Nystrom, Jonathan D. Cohen
@article{dardenne-et-al-2008,
    abstract = {Current theories hypothesize that dopamine neuronal firing encodes reward prediction errors. Although studies in nonhuman species provide direct support for this theory, functional magnetic resonance imaging ({fMRI}) studies in humans have focused on brain areas targeted by dopamine neurons [ventral striatum ({VStr})] rather than on brainstem dopaminergic nuclei [ventral tegmental area ({VTA}) and substantia nigra]. We used {fMRI} tailored to directly image the brainstem. When primary rewards were used in an experiment, the {VTA} blood oxygen level–dependent ({BOLD}) response reflected a positive reward prediction error, whereas the {VStr} encoded positive and negative reward prediction errors. When monetary gains and losses were used, {VTA} {BOLD} responses reflected positive reward prediction errors modulated by the probability of winning. We detected no significant {VTA} {BOLD} response to nonrewarding events.},
    author = {D'Ardenne, Kimberlee and McClure, Samuel M. and Nystrom, Leigh E. and Cohen, Jonathan D.},
    day = {29},
    doi = {10.1126/science.1150605},
    issn = {1095-9203},
    journal = {Science},
    keywords = {dopamine, learning, reward, tegmental-area},
    month = feb,
    number = {5867},
    pages = {1264--1267},
    pmid = {18309087},
    posted-at = {2013-10-31 10:31:36},
    priority = {2},
    title = {{BOLD} Responses Reflecting Dopaminergic Signals in the Human Ventral Tegmental Area},
    url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1150605},
    volume = {319},
    year = {2008}
}

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It's hard to do fMRI of the brain stem, in part because structures there are small.

The reward prediction error theory of dopamine function says that the difference between expected and actual reward is encoded in dopamine neurons.

To calculate reward prediction error, dopamine neurons need to receive both inputs coding for experienced and expected reward.