1. Neuroscience
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Emergence of visually-evoked reward expectation signals in dopamine neurons via the superior colliculus in V1 lesioned monkeys

  1. Norihiro Takakuwa
  2. Rikako Kato
  3. Peter Redgrave
  4. Tadashi Isa  Is a corresponding author
  1. National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Japan
  2. University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
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Cite this article as: eLife 2017;6:e24459 doi: 10.7554/eLife.24459


Responses of midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons reflecting expected reward from sensory cues are critical for reward-based associative learning. However, critical pathways by which reward-related visual information is relayed to DA neurons remain unclear. To address this question, we investigated Pavlovian conditioning in macaque monkeys with unilateral primary visual cortex (V1) lesions (an animal model of 'blindsight'). Anticipatory licking responses to obtain juice drops were elicited in response to visual conditioned stimuli (CS) in the affected visual field. Subsequent pharmacological inactivation of the superior colliculus (SC) suppressed the anticipatory licking. Concurrent single unit recordings indicated that DA responses reflecting the reward expectation could be recorded in the absence of V1, and that these responses were also suppressed by SC inactivation. These results indicate that the subcortical visual circuit can relay reward-predicting visual information to DA neurons and integrity of the SC is necessary for visually-elicited classically conditioned responses after V1 lesion.

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Author details

  1. Norihiro Takakuwa

    Department of Developmental Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Rikako Kato

    Department of Developmental Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Peter Redgrave

    Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Tadashi Isa

    Department of Developmental Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Japan
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-5652-4688


Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (KAKENHI Grant Number 22220006)

  • Tadashi Isa

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (26112008)

  • Tadashi Isa

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (KAKENHI Grant Number 26221003)

  • Tadashi Isa

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.


Animal experimentation: All the experimental procedures were performed in accordance with the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and approved by the Committee for Animal Experiment at the National Institute of Natural Sciences (Permit Number: 16A060).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Naoshige Uchida, Harvard University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: December 20, 2016
  2. Accepted: June 15, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: June 19, 2017 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: July 26, 2017 (version 2)


© 2017, Takakuwa et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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