1. Neuroscience
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Distinct roles of striatal direct and indirect pathways in value-based decision making

  1. Shinae Kwak
  2. Min Whan Jung  Is a corresponding author
  1. Institute for Basic Science, Republic of Korea
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e46050 doi: 10.7554/eLife.46050


The striatum is critically involved in value-based decision making. However, it is unclear how striatal direct and indirect pathways work together to make optimal choices in a dynamic and uncertain environment. Here, we examined the effects of selectively inactivating D1 receptor (D1R)- or D2 receptor (D2R)-expressing dorsal striatal neurons (corresponding to direct- and indirect-pathway neurons, respectively) on mouse choice behavior in a reversal task with progressively increasing reversal frequency and a dynamic two-armed bandit task. Inactivation of either D1R- or D2R-expressing striatal neurons impaired performance in both tasks, but the pattern of altered choice behavior differed between the two animal groups. A reinforcement learning model-based analysis indicated that inactivation of D1R- and D2R-expressing striatal neurons selectively impairs value-dependent action selection and value learning, respectively. Our results suggest differential contributions of striatal direct and indirect pathways to two distinct steps in value-based decision making.

Data availability

Data is available via Dryad under doi:10.5061/dryad.4c80mn5.

The following data sets were generated

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Author details

  1. Shinae Kwak

    Center for Synaptic Brain Dysfunctions, Institute for Basic Science, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Min Whan Jung

    Center for Synaptic Brain Dysfunctions, Institute for Basic Science, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4145-600X


Research Center Program of the Institute for Basic Science (IBS-R002-G1)

  • Min Whan Jung

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


Animal experimentation: The experimental protocol was approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Daejeon, Korea; approval number approval number KA2018-08).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Geoffrey Schoenbaum, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: February 13, 2019
  2. Accepted: July 9, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: July 16, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: July 25, 2019 (version 2)


© 2019, Kwak & Jung

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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