Researchers identified 16 distinct cell populations in the ventral tegmental area, a brain area involved in dopamine neurotransmission involved in reward-directed behaviors.
A ventral tegmental area dopamine neuron circuit that projects to the basolateral amygdala selectively controls anxiety-like behaviors, but not depression-like behaviors.
The motivation to exert sustained effort to achieve a goal following stress exposure depends on an individual's level of trait anxiety. The expression of CRHR1 in dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area connects anxiety to either boosted or diminished motivation levels.
Researchers have identified a new reward system in the brain. The study found long-range GABA neurons from the ventral tegmental area to the ventral nucleus accumbens shell are engaged in reward and reinforcement behaviors. This GABAergic projection inhibits cholinergic interneurons.
Study reveals the role the ventral tegmental area of the brain plays in craving protein-rich foods.
Researchers have identified novel neurocircuitry between midbrain structures which are modulated by leptin to control eating behaviors in mice.
Researchers temporarily switched off the neural pathway between the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens in primate models, negatively impacting motivation, but not learning.
Common green apple flavorant farnesene enhances nicotine reward in mouse models. The flavorant is also rewarding on its own. Researchers say with or without nicotine, flavored vapes, especially those containing farnesene, pose potential neurological risks, including addiction.
Estrogen level fluctuations appear to play a role in alcohol use disorder in women. Reducing the number of estrogen receptors in the ventral tegmental area decreased binge drinking behaviors in female mouse models.