Check out our new work in eLife now!

Our new paper on ventral pallidal encoding of Pavlovian versus instrumental reward seeking is out now here

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We investigated whether rat VP cue responses would encode and contribute similarly to the vigor of reward-seeking behaviors trained under Pavlovian versus instrumental contingencies, when these behavioral responses consist of superficially similar locomotor response patterns but may reflect distinct underlying decision-making processes. We find that cue-elicited activity in many VP neurons predicts the latency of instrumental reward seeking, but not of Pavlovian response latency. Further, disruption of VP signaling increases the latency of instrumental but not Pavlovian reward seeking. This suggests that VP encoding of and contributions to response vigor are specific to the ability of incentive cues to invigorate reward-seeking behaviors upon which reward delivery is contingent.

Jocelyn Richard