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Double threat in striatal dopamine signaling

In this issue of Nature Neuroscience, Menegas et al. demonstrate a role for midbrain dopamine neurons projecting to the tail of the striatum in encoding stimulus novelty and threat avoidance. From this study emerges a model whereby distinct dopaminergic projections to striatum influence behavior along at least two axes, one representing value and one representing threat.

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C.A.S. is supported by NIH grants F32 MH111216 (NIMH) and K99 DA045103 (NIDA) and by a NARSAD Young Investigator Award (Brain and Behavior Research Foundation). F.M. is supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. K.M.T. is a New York Stem Cell Foundation - Robertson Investigator and McKnight Scholar and this work was supported by funding from the JPB Foundation, the PIIF, PNDRF, JFDP, New York Stem Cell Foundation, R01-MH102441 (NIMH), the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award DP2-DK102256 (NIDDK), and Pioneer Award DP1-AT009925 (NCCIH).

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The authors declare no competing interests.

Correspondence to Kay M. Tye.

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Fig. 1: Dopamine terminals in VS and TS report distinct features of salient stimuli.