Motivation

  • Article
    | Open Access

    New instrumental learning occurs through an unexpected delivery of a rewarding stimulus or the withdrawal of a punishing stimulus. The authors show that D1 receptor-expressing medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the anterior dorsolateral striatum encode newly learned instrumental actions whereas D2 MSNs promote the expression of habitual actions.

    • Alexander C. W. Smith
    • , Sietse Jonkman
    •  & Paul J. Kenny
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The willingness to exert effort into demanding tasks often declines over time through fatigue. Here the authors provide a computational account of the moment-to-moment dynamics of fatigue and its impact on effort-based choices, and reveal the neural mechanisms that underlie such computations.

    • Tanja Müller
    • , Miriam C. Klein-Flügge
    •  & Matthew A. J. Apps
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Metacognitive insight into economic preferences has been suggested to enable the consideration of long-term action-consequences. Here, the authors provide a neural link between these phenomena by showing that enhancing frontopolar theta oscillations affects both metacognition and prospective decision making.

    • Alexander Soutschek
    • , Marius Moisa
    •  & Philippe N. Tobler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Whether maximizing rewards and minimizing punishments rely on distinct brain learning systems remains debated. Here, using intracerebral recordings in humans, the authors provide evidence for brain regions differentially engaged in signaling reward and punishment prediction errors that prescribe repetition versus avoidance of past choices.

    • Maëlle C. M. Gueguen
    • , Alizée Lopez-Persem
    •  & Julien Bastin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The supramammillary region (SuM) regulates arousal that reinforces and energizes behavioral interaction with the environment. Here the authors investigate how SuM neurons interact with medial septal neurons and ventral tegmental dopamine neurons to regulate motivation for environmental interaction.

    • Andrew J. Kesner
    • , Rick Shin
    •  & Satoshi Ikemoto
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Animals constantly balance seeking food with avoiding predators. Here, the authors report that CRF positive neurons in the paraventricular thalamus projecting to the nucleus accumbens in rats are an indispensable component of a feedback circuit that can interrupt appetitive behaviour in favor of a defensive response in the presence of a competing threat stimulus.

    • D. S. Engelke
    • , X. O. Zhang
    •  & F. H. Do-Monte
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People only exert cognitive effort if they think the benefits outweigh the costs. Here, the authors show that people assess these benefits by considering expected rewards and how much their effort matters for obtaining those rewards, and then integrating these to determine how much effort to exert.

    • R. Frömer
    • , H. Lin
    •  & A. Shenhav
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The challenge of sensory substitution as a therapeutic approach is to design systems that are well accepted by subjects. Here, in deaf songbirds, the authors substitute hearing with vision, suggesting substitution devices could provide sensory feedback for the key actions that are deprived.

    • Anja T. Zai
    • , Sophie Cavé-Lopez
    •  & Richard H. R. Hahnloser
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The rhesus macaque is an important model species in several branches of science, but the utility of this model would be enhanced by the ability to measure behaviour throughout pose. Here, the authors describe a deep learning-based markerless motion capture system for estimating 3D pose in freely moving macaques.

    • Praneet C. Bala
    • , Benjamin R. Eisenreich
    •  & Jan Zimmermann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fatigue influences our choices to engage in physical activity. Here, the authors investigate the underlying cognitive and neuronal mechanisms by which fatigue influences decisions to exert, and show that information about motor cortical state modulates decisions to engage in physical activity.

    • Patrick S. Hogan
    • , Steven X. Chen
    •  & Vikram S. Chib
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Alcohol craving can be enhanced by alcohol-associated cues and by alcohol-associated contexts. Here the authors investigate the role of the ventral tegmental area (VTA)-to-nucleus accumbens (NAc) core and VTA-to-NAc shell circuits in mediating these distinct aspects of alcohol seeking behaviour in rats.

    • Milan D. Valyear
    • , Iulia Glovaci
    •  & Nadia Chaudhri
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The vagus nerve transmits signals between the gut and the brain thereby tuning motivated behavior to physiological needs. Here, the authors show that acute non-invasive stimulation of the vagus nerve via the ear enhances the invigoration of effort for rewards.

    • Monja P. Neuser
    • , Vanessa Teckentrup
    •  & Nils B. Kroemer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Optimizing approach-avoidance behavior calls for neural encoding of related motivation outcomes. Here, the authors show that behavioral choice under conflict relies on differential neuronal firing patterns after punishment, in which mPFC neurons decode the outcome’s value and MTL neurons follow by reducing subsequent approach.

    • Tomer Gazit
    • , Tal Gonen
    •  & Itzhak Fried
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Brain disorders can create maladaptive attractions, such as in addiction or self-harming. Here the authors use multiple valence modes of the central amygdala to create such attractions, arbitrarily making rats into ‘sucrose addicts' or ‘cocaine addicts', or causing maladaptive attraction to shocks.

    • Shelley M. Warlow
    • , Erin E. Naffziger
    •  & Kent C. Berridge
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rewarded stimuli are better encoded in memory. Here, the authors show that the average accumulation of reward over consecutive trials provides an additive, non-linear (inverted U-shape) modulation of memory encoding, paralleled by a similar recruitment of dopaminergic memory circuitry.

    • Kristoffer Carl Aberg
    • , Emily Elizabeth Kramer
    •  & Sophie Schwartz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dopamine neurons are proposed to signal the reward prediction error in model-free reinforcement learning algorithms. Here, the authors show that when given during an associative learning task, optogenetic activation of dopamine neurons causes associative, rather than value, learning.

    • Melissa J. Sharpe
    • , Hannah M. Batchelor
    •  & Geoffrey Schoenbaum
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Animals resolve uncertainty by seeking knowledge about the future. How the brain controls this is unclear. The authors show that a network including primate anterior cingulate cortex and basal ganglia encodes opportunities to gain information about uncertain rewards and mediates information seeking.

    • J. Kael White
    • , Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin
    •  & Ilya E. Monosov
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT) is known to influence reward processing through its projections to the VTA. Here, the authors report that the cholinergic projections from the LDT to the nucleus accumbens play an important role in motivation and positive reinforcement behaviors.

    • Bárbara Coimbra
    • , Carina Soares-Cunha
    •  & Ana João Rodrigues
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many natural behaviours involve tracking of a target in space. Here, the authors describe a task to assess this behaviour in mice and use in vivo electrophysiology, calcium imaging, optogenetics, and chemogenetics to investigate the role of the striatum in target pursuit.

    • Namsoo Kim
    • , Haofang E. Li
    •  & Henry H. Yin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Astrocytes can dynamically control glutamate availability at specific active synapses through the glutamate transporter, GLT-1. Here, the authors show that astrocytes in the VTA selectively facilitate excitation of VTA GABAergic neurons to inhibit dopamine neurons and drive avoidance behavior via GLT-1.

    • J. A. Gomez
    • , J. M. Perkins
    •  & C. A. Paladini
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In the ventral basal ganglia circuit, the ventral pallidum (VP) receives major inputs from the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and is involved in reward processing. Here, the authors report that, contrary to the accepted model, signals related to the relative value of reward in VP emerge before NAc and are more robust.

    • David Ottenheimer
    • , Jocelyn M. Richard
    •  & Patricia H. Janak
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neuroeconomic theories suggest that conflict during decision, such as exhibited by relapsing drug addicts who continue drug use despite stated wishes not to, might arise from separable processes in decision making. Here the authors test mice in a foraging task designed to separate these processes and find that mice show alterations in separable components of decision conflict following abstinence from cocaine versus morphine.

    • Brian M. Sweis
    • , A. David Redish
    •  & Mark J. Thomas
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fear memories are overcome only when it is ascertained that fearful responses are not appropriate. Here the authors demonstrate that activity in dopamine neurons is necessary to extinguish fear responses and two distinct dopamine neuron projections exert opposing effects on extinction learning.

    • Ray Luo
    • , Akira Uematsu
    •  & Joshua P. Johansen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Trial and error learning requires the brain to generate expectations and match them to outcomes, yet whether this occurs for semantic learning is unclear. Here, authors show that the brain encodes the degree to which new factual information violates expectations, which in turn determines whether information is encoded in long-term memory.

    • Alex Pine
    • , Noa Sadeh
    •  & Avi Mendelsohn
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fluctuations in mood are known to affect our decisions. Here the authors propose and validate a model of how mood fluctuations arise through a slow integration of positive and negative feedback and report the resulting key changes in brain activity that modulate our decision making.

    • Fabien Vinckier
    • , Lionel Rigoux
    •  & Mathias Pessiglione
  • Article
    | Open Access

    μ-opioid signalling has a known role in the response to various rewarding stimuli, including pleasant foods. Here, Nummenmaa et al. show using PET and fMRI that individual differences in brain μ-opioid receptor density predict the strength of the neural response to highly palatable foods in humans

    • Lauri Nummenmaa
    • , Tiina Saanijoki
    •  & Kari Kalliokoski
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dopamine D2 receptor activity in the nucleus accumbens is associated with regulation of motivated responding. Here the authors show that overexpression of D2 receptors specifically in ventral striatal projection neurons leads to an increase in the willingness to work by reducing inhibitory transmission to ventral pallidal neurons.

    • Eduardo F. Gallo
    • , Jozsef Meszaros
    •  & Christoph Kellendonk
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Though it's important to influence others' decisions, the neural correlates of persuasive strategies are not known. Here, authors show that people change their advice based on its accuracy and whether they are being listened to, and identify the distinct brain regions underpinning each strategy.

    • Uri Hertz
    • , Stefano Palminteri
    •  & Bahador Bahrami
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Adults adjust their cognitive performance according to the value of the outcome, but it is unclear whether adolescents do too. Here, authors show that adolescents do not adjust their cognitive effort according to value, and that this ability is mediated by connectivity between the striatum and prefrontal cortex.

    • Catherine Insel
    • , Erik K. Kastman
    •  & Leah H. Somerville
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In addition to circadian and homoeostatic drives, motivational levels influence sleep−wake cycles. Here the authors demonstrate that adenosine receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens core that project to the ventral pallidum are inhibited by motivational stimuli and are causally involved in the control of slow-wave sleep.

    • Yo Oishi
    • , Qi Xu
    •  & Michael Lazarus
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Features of major depressive disorder including lack of motivation, sleep disruption and cognitive deficit have been modelled in rodents. Here, the authors develop a new method to elicit a depression-like state inDrosophila, and uncover separable roles for different serotonin receptors in depression-like behaviour.

    • Ariane-Saskia Ries
    • , Tim Hermanns
    •  & Roland Strauss
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ventral tegmental area (VTA) is involved in reward behaviours, but the precise contribution of VTA glutamatergic neurons to this process is not known. Here the authors show that phasic but not sustained optogenetic stimulation of VTA glutamatergic neurons is rewarding and involves co-release of GABA.

    • Ji Hoon Yoo
    • , Vivien Zell
    •  & Thomas S. Hnasko
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Tolerance for risk decreases with age, but it is not known whether this shift can be accounted for by a neurobiological marker. Here, authors show that the age-related decrease in risk tolerance is better accounted for by grey matter decreases in right posterior parietal cortex than by age per se.

    • Michael A. Grubb
    • , Agnieszka Tymula
    •  & Ifat Levy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Reward seeking behaviors involve dopamine (DA) release but the circuits underlying avoidance behavior remain comparatively understudied. Here the authors show that phasic increases in DA release in rats are higher for reward and avoidance cues compared with neutral cues and are positively correlated with poor avoidance.

    • Ronny N. Gentry
    • , Brian Lee
    •  & Matthew R. Roesch
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Economic decisions are based on perceived reward value but it is unclear how individual neurons encode value estimates as input for decision mechanisms. Here authors show that dorsolateral prefrontal cortex uses a dynamic value code based on object-specific valuations by single neurons.

    • Ken-Ichiro Tsutsui
    • , Fabian Grabenhorst
    •  & Wolfram Schultz