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Publication Detail
Mesolimbic fMRI activations during reward anticipation correlate with reward-related ventral striatal dopamine release
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Schott BH, Minuzzi L, Krebs M, Elmenhorst D, Lang M, Winz O, Seidenbecher CI, Coenen H, Heinze HJ, Zilles K, Düzel E, Bauer A
  • Publication date:
    2008
  • Pagination:
    14311, 14319
  • Journal:
    Journal of Neuroscience
  • Volume:
    28
  • Issue:
    52
  • Print ISSN:
    0270-6474
Abstract
The dopaminergic mechanisms that control reward-motivated behavior are the subject of intense study, but it is yet unclear how, in humans, neural activity in mesolimbic reward-circuitry and its functional neuroimaging correlates are related to dopamine release. To address this question, we obtained functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures of reward-related neural activity and [11C] raclopride positron emission tomography (PET) measures of dopamine release in the same human participants, while they performed a delayed monetary incentive task. Across the cohort, a positive correlation emerged between neural activity of the substantia nigra / ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA), the main origin of dopaminergic neurotransmission, during reward anticipation and reward-related [11C] raclopride displacement as an index of dopamine release in the ventral striatum, major target of SN/VTA dopamine neurons. Neural activity in the ventral striatum / nucleus accumbens itself also correlated with ventral striatal dopamine release.Additionally, high reward-related dopamine release was associated with increased activation of limbic structures, such as the amygdala and the hippocampus. The observed correlations of reward-related mesolimbic fMRI activation and dopamine release provide evidence that dopaminergic neurotransmission plays a quantitative role in human mesolimbic reward processing. Moreover, the combined neurochemical and hemodynamic imaging approach used here opens up new perspectives for the investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying human cognition.
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