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Reference for the NAcc article on neurotransmitter cell types (D1-type & D2-type NAcc MSNs; GABAergic & cholinergic interneurons; and, GABAergic projection MSNs) -

Incomplete table[edit]

Need to wait for further research on subregion+subtype-specific cognitive functions to be published before finishing this table and adding it to nucleus accumbens.

Cognitive functions associated with NAcc subregions and MSN subtypes
D1-type medium spiny neurons D2-type medium spiny neurons Mixed-type medium spiny neurons Subtype specificity not established
NAcc shell Incentive salience[note 1][2][3] Aversive salience[note 1][4][5] Medial shell: pleasure (hedonic liking)[6][7]
Caudal shell: displeasure (pain/disgust)[6][7]
NAcc core

Reward-related associative learning[4][5]

Aversion-related associative learning[4][5] N/A Motor program learning[2]
Reward prediction error[3]
Bulleted list of refs that are already used in the article


  1. ^ Koob GF, Moal ML (2006). Neurobiology of Addiction. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press. p. 415. ISBN 9780080497372.
  2. ^ a b c Malenka RC, Nestler EJ, Hyman SE (2009). Sydor A, Brown RY, eds. Molecular Neuropharmacology: A Foundation for Clinical Neuroscience (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical. pp. 147–148, 367, 376. ISBN 978-0-07-148127-4. VTA DA neurons play a critical role in motivation, reward-related behavior (Chapter 15), attention, and multiple forms of memory. This organization of the DA system, wide projection from a limited number of cell bodies, permits coordinated responses to potent new rewards. Thus, acting in diverse terminal fields, dopamine confers motivational salience (“wanting”) on the reward itself or associated cues (nucleus accumbens shell region), updates the value placed on different goals in light of this new experience (orbital prefrontal cortex), helps consolidate multiple forms of memory (amygdala and hippocampus), and encodes new motor programs that will facilitate obtaining this reward in the future (nucleus accumbens core region and dorsal striatum). In this example, dopamine modulates the processing of sensorimotor information in diverse neural circuits to maximize the ability of the organism to obtain future rewards. ...
    The brain reward circuitry that is targeted by addictive drugs normally mediates the pleasure and strengthening of behaviors associated with natural reinforcers, such as food, water, and sexual contact. Dopamine neurons in the VTA are activated by food and water, and dopamine release in the NAc is stimulated by the presence of natural reinforcers, such as food, water, or a sexual partner. ...
    The NAc and VTA are central components of the circuitry underlying reward and memory of reward. As previously mentioned, the activity of dopaminergic neurons in the VTA appears to be linked to reward prediction. The NAc is involved in learning associated with reinforcement and the modulation of motoric responses to stimuli that satisfy internal homeostatic needs. The shell of the NAc appears to be particularly important to initial drug actions within reward circuitry; addictive drugs appear to have a greater effect on dopamine release in the shell than in the core of the NAc.
  3. ^ a b c Saddoris MP, Cacciapaglia F, Wightman RM, Carelli RM (August 2015). "Differential Dopamine Release Dynamics in the Nucleus Accumbens Core and Shell Reveal Complementary Signals for Error Prediction and Incentive Motivation". J. Neurosci. 35 (33): 11572–82. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2344-15.2015. PMC 4540796. PMID 26290234. Here, we have found that real-time dopamine release within the nucleus accumbens (a primary target of midbrain dopamine neurons) strikingly varies between core and shell subregions. In the core, dopamine dynamics are consistent with learning-based theories (such as reward prediction error) whereas in the shell, dopamine is consistent with motivation-based theories (e.g., incentive salience).
  4. ^ a b c Calipari ES, Bagot RC, Purushothaman I, Davidson TJ, Yorgason JT, Peña CJ, Walker DM, Pirpinias ST, Guise KG, Ramakrishnan C, Deisseroth K, Nestler EJ (March 2016). "In vivo imaging identifies temporal signature of D1 and D2 medium spiny neurons in cocaine reward". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 113 (10): 2726–2731. doi:10.1073/pnas.1521238113. PMC 4791010. PMID 26831103. Previous work has demonstrated that optogenetically stimulating D1 MSNs promotes reward, whereas stimulating D2 MSNs produces aversion. ... Studies using in vivo pharmacological approaches have demonstrated differential roles of NAc D1 and D2 receptors in drug conditioning by use of selective receptor agonists or antagonists, further supporting a role for both dopamine and D1 and D2 MSN subtypes in associative learning (27). Whereas this work has focused on the VTA-to-NAc dopamine circuit, tracking postsynaptic responses in NAc MSNs is particularly important because they integrate information not only from VTA dopamine neurons but also from numerous glutamatergic projections (28, 29). From a network perspective, D1 and D2 MSNs receive inputs from several regions known to encode and store information about context or context–drug associations such as the prefrontal cortex, basolateral amygdala, and hippocampus (30). ... Our data highlight the important role played by D1 MSNs in NAc core in establishing context–reward associations and in controlling the strength of these associations after cocaine exposure. ... Here we show that regulation of associative learning, and its dysregulation by cocaine, is driven primarily through alterations in D1 MSNs in NAc core, which both impair the extinction of previously learned associations and enhance reinstatement following abstinence.
  5. ^ a b c Baliki MN, Mansour A, Baria AT, Huang L, Berger SE, Fields HL, Apkarian AV (October 2013). "Parceling human accumbens into putative core and shell dissociates encoding of values for reward and pain". J. Neurosci. 33 (41): 16383–16393. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1731-13.2013. PMC 3792469. PMID 24107968. Recent evidence indicates that inactivation of D2 receptors, in the indirect striatopallidal pathway in rodents, is necessary for both acquisition and expression of aversive behavior, and direct pathway D1 receptor activation controls reward-based learning (Hikida et al., 2010; Hikida et al., 2013). It seems we can conclude that direct and indirect pathways of the NAc, via D1 and D2 receptors, subserve distinct anticipation and valuation roles in the shell and core of NAc, which is consistent with observations regarding spatial segregation and diversity of responses of midbrain dopaminergic neurons for rewarding and aversive conditions, some encoding motivational value, others motivational salience, each connected with distinct brain networks and having distinct roles in motivational control (Bromberg-Martin et al., 2010; Cohen et al., 2012; Lammel et al., 2013). ... Thus, the previous results, coupled with the current observations, imply that the NAc pshell response reflects a prediction/anticipation or salience signal, and the NAc pcore response is a valuation response (reward predictive signal) that signals the negative reinforcement value of cessation of pain (i.e., anticipated analgesia).
  6. ^ a b c Berridge KC, Kringelbach ML (May 2015). "Pleasure systems in the brain". Neuron. 86 (3): 646–664. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2015.02.018. PMC 4425246. PMID 25950633.
  7. ^ a b c Richard JM, Castro DC, Difeliceantonio AG, Robinson MJ, Berridge KC (November 2013). "Mapping brain circuits of reward and motivation: in the footsteps of Ann Kelley". Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 37 (9 Pt A): 1919–1931. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2012.12.008. PMC 3706488. PMID 23261404.
    Figure 3: Neural circuits underlying motivated 'wanting' and hedonic 'liking'.
  1. ^ a b Incentive salience and aversive salience are forms of motivational salience that are associated with reward and aversion, respectively.[1] Incentive salience manifests as both the desire and motivation to obtain a particular rewarding stimulus. Aversive salience manifests as both the desire and motivation to avoid a particular unpleasant stimulus.

ΔFosB, addiction, ADHD, neural projections, etc[edit]

∆FosB: A transcriptional regulator of stress and antidepressant responses
Fluoxetine epigenetically alters the CaMKIIα promoter in nucleus accumbens to regulate ΔFosB binding and antidepressant effects

Random papers:

PMID 23085449
PMID 22484409
PMID 22013150
PMID 23576888
PMID 24354721
PMID 24382886
  • [1]
  • [2]
  • [1] DeltaFosB Isoforms induction graph


  1. ^ Haile CN, Kosten TR, Kosten TA (2009). "Pharmacogenetic treatments for drug addiction: cocaine, amphetamine and methamphetamine". Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 35 (3): 161–77. doi:10.1080/00952990902825447. PMC 2754046. PMID 19462300. Pharmacogenetic-based treatments for psychostimulant addiction are critical for successful treatment.
  2. ^ Berwid OG, Halperin JM (2012). "Emerging support for a role of exercise in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder intervention planning". Curr Psychiatry Rep. 14 (5): 543–51. doi:10.1007/s11920-012-0297-4. PMC 3724411. PMID 22895892.

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