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Error-related signaling in nucleus accumbens D2 receptor-expressing neurons guides inhibition-based choice behavior in mice

Nature Communications

Authors: Tadaaki Nishioka, Suthinee Attachaipanich, Kosuke Hamaguchi, Michael Lazarus, Alban de Kerchove d'Exaerde, Tom Macpherson, Takatoshi Hikida
Publication: Nature Communications
Date: April 21, 2023
Link to article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-38025-3


Learned associations between environmental cues and the outcomes they predict (cue-outcome associations) play a major role in behavioral control, guiding not only which responses we should perform, but also which we should inhibit, in order to achieve a specific goal. The encoding of such cue-outcome associations, as well as the performance of cue-guided choice behavior, is thought to involve dopamine D1 and D2 receptor-expressing medium spiny neurons (D1-/D2-MSNs) of the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Here, using a visual discrimination task in male mice, we assessed the role of NAc D1-/D2-MSNs in cue-guided inhibition of inappropriate responding. Cell-type specific neuronal silencing and in-vivo imaging revealed NAc D2-MSNs to contribute to inhibiting behavioral responses, with activation of NAc D2-MSNs following response errors playing an important role in optimizing future choice behavior. Our findings indicate that error-signaling by NAc D2-MSNs contributes to the ability to use environmental cues to inhibit inappropriate behavior.

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