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Dopaminergic Signals for Reward, Performance and Social Outcomes are Dynamically Gated During Courtship

Who Should Attend: 


Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies


How does courtship affect dopaminergic (DA) responses to reward and motor performance outcomes? We used electrophysiology and fiber photometry to record DA signals in two mesostriatal pathways as thirsty male songbirds sang alone and to females. When alone, water reward signals were observed globally but singing-related performance error signals were restricted to a song-specialized mesostriatal pathway. During courtship singing, DA responses to both water-predicting cues and song performance outcomes diminished, and DA signals in the song pathway were instead driven by female calls timed with the male song. Thus DA signals are dynamically gated and routed through distinct mesostriatal pathways as animals change their priorities in response to a courtship opportunity.


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Tuesday, March 7, 2023 - 12:30pm


Conference Room: 
Billings Building – Rosedale
Zoom Meeting

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Darlene White