Generation of value prediction coding and proximal reward history in distributed mouse networks revealed through multisite recordings and fMRI during reinforcement learning

  • Datum: 21.02.2020
  • Uhrzeit: 11:15 - 12:15
  • Vortragende(r): Wolfgang Kelsch
  • Dept. of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, University Heidelberg
  • Ort: Max Planck House
  • Raum: Lecture Hall
  • Gastgeber: Nelson Totah
Generation of value prediction coding and proximal reward history in distributed mouse networks revealed through multisite recordings and fMRI during reinforcement learning

The learning of stimulus-outcome associations allows for predictions about the environment. Ventral striatum and dopaminergic neurons in the VTA form a larger network for generating reward prediction signals. Yet, direct evidence of this limbic interregional information transfer and the underlying network mechanisms to generate predictive signals are still missing. We found that phasic dopamine is sufficient to reinforce the distinctness of stimulus representations in the ventral striatum even in the absence of reward. Upon this reinforcement, striatal stimulus encoding gives rise to interregional assemblies that drive dopaminergic neurons during stimulus-outcome learning. These assemblies dynamically encode the predicted reward value of conditioned stimuli. Together, our data reveal that ventral striatal and midbrain reward networks form a reinforcing loop to generate reward prediction coding. From here, we followed a complementary approach and examined with fMRI the coding in distributed limbic networks in awake behaving mice performing a probabilistic task. We found that the proximal reward history was localized to selected brain regions. The same information expressed selectively in specific aspects of population coding in this, but not in a neighboring limbic cortical regions. These findings highlight the possibility to examine the dynamics of value and stimulus coding with developing non-invasive imaging techniques in small rodents.

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