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    1. Neuroscience

    Morphine disinhibits glutamatergic input to VTA dopamine neurons and promotes dopamine neuron excitation

    Ming Chen et al.
    Experiments examining the actions of morphine on single neurons from one of the brain's reward centers, the VTA, reveal the mechanism by which the drug exerts its hedonic effects.
    1. Neuroscience

    Dopamine and opioid systems interact within the nucleus accumbens to maintain monogamous pair bonds

    Shanna L Resendez et al.
    The neural mechanisms that underlie the maintenance of social bonds between prairie voles suggest that social support networks may be a powerful way of treating addiction.
    1. Neuroscience

    Dopamine neuron glutamate cotransmission evokes a delayed excitation in lateral dorsal striatal cholinergic interneurons

    Nao Chuhma et al.
    Dopamine neurons make novel glutamatergic connections to striatal cholinergic interneurons in the lateral dorsal striatum that are mediated by metabotropic glutamate receptors coupled to TrpC channels.
    1. Neuroscience

    Distinct regulation of dopamine D2S and D2L autoreceptor signaling by calcium

    Stephanie C Gantz et al.
    The loss of calcium-dependent D2 autoreceptor desensitization caused by prior in vivo cocaine exposure may be conferred by an unexpected role of the D2L splice variant as an autoreceptor.
    1. Neuroscience

    Attenuation of dopamine-modulated prefrontal value signals underlies probabilistic reward learning deficits in old age

    Lieke de Boer et al.
    Attenuated anticipatory activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex is modulated by dopamine D1 receptor density in nucleus accumbens, and accounts for impaired probabilistic reward learning in older adults.
    1. Neuroscience

    Task-induced functional brain connectivity mediates the relationship between striatal D2/3 receptors and working memory

    Matthew M Nour et al.
    Striatal dopamine 2/3 receptor (D2/3R) availability is related to working memory-induced functional connectivity changes in the default mode network, and this mediates the relationship between D2/3Rs and task performance.
    1. Neuroscience

    Neuromodulation of excitatory synaptogenesis in striatal development

    Yevgenia Kozorovitskiy et al.
    Protein kinase A regulates the rapid, activity-dependent genesis of excitatory synapses during striatal development.
    1. Neuroscience

    Electrical and Ca2+ signaling in dendritic spines of substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons

    Travis A Hage et al.
    Dopaminergic cells uniquely receive input from a roughly equal mixture of synapses on dendritic spines and synapses formed directly on dendrites.
    1. Neuroscience

    Phasic activation of ventral tegmental neurons increases response and pattern similarity in prefrontal cortex neurons

    Motoko Iwashita
    Transient increases in calcium release in prefrontal cortex neurons, observable only in awake animals, may form the basis of associative learning.
    1. Neuroscience

    Constitutive activation of kappa opioid receptors at ventral tegmental area inhibitory synapses following acute stress

    Abigail M Polter et al.
    Rats exposed to a single stressful event experience days-long constitutive activation of the kappa opioid receptor at inhibitory synapses in part of the brain’s reward system, which increases their drug-seeking behavior.