Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


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.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

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


  1. Thierry, A. M., Tassin, J. P., Blanc, G. & Glowinski, J. Nature 263, 242–244 (1976).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Matthews, G. A. et al. Cell 164, 617–631 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Lammel, S. et al. Nature 491, 212–217 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Howe, M. W. & Dombeck, D. A. Nature 535, 505–510 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Di Chiara, G. & Imperato, A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85, 5274–5278 (1988).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Phillips, P. E. M., Stuber, G. D., Heien, M. L. A. V., Wightman, R. M. & Carelli, R. M. Nature 422, 614–618 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Schultz, W., Dayan, P. & Montague, P. R. Science 275, 1593–1599 (1997).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Steinberg, E. E. et al. Nat. Neurosci. 16, 966–973 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Everitt, B. J. & Robbins, T. W. Nat. Neurosci. 8, 1481–1489 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Menegas, W. et al. eLife 4, e10032 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Menegas, W., Babayan, B. M., Uchida, N. & Watabe-Uchida, M. eLife 6, e21886 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Menegas, W., et al. Dopamine neurons projecting to the posterior striatum reinforce avoidance of threatening stimuli. Nat. Neurosci. (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Rice, M. E. & Cragg, S. J. Nat. Neurosci. 7, 583–584 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Parker, N. F. et al. Nat. Neurosci. 19, 845–854 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Pereira, D. B. et al. Nat. Neurosci. 19, 578–586 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


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).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kay M. Tye.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Siciliano, C.A., Mills, F. & Tye, K.M. Double threat in striatal dopamine signaling. Nat Neurosci 21, 1296–1297 (2018).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing