Intrinsically regulated learning is modulated by synaptic dopamine signaling

Pablo Ripollés, Laura Ferreri, Ernest Mas-Herrero, Helena Alicart, Alba Gómez-Andrés, Josep Marco-Pallares, Rosa Maria Antonijoan, Toemme Noesselt, Marta Valle, Jordi Riba, Antoni Rodriguez-Fornells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We recently provided evidence that an intrinsic reward-related signal—triggered by successful learning in absence of any external feedback—modulated the entrance of new information into long-term memory via the activation of the dopaminergic midbrain, hippocampus, and ventral striatum (the SN/VTA-Hippocampal loop; Ripollés et al., 2016). Here, we used a double- blind, within-subject randomized pharmacological intervention to test whether this learning process is indeed dopamine-dependent. A group of healthy individuals completed three behavioral sessions of a language-learning task after the intake of different pharmacological treatments: a dopaminergic precursor, a dopamine receptor antagonist or a placebo. Results show that the pharmacological intervention modulated behavioral measures of both learning and pleasantness, inducing memory benefits after 24 hr only for those participants with a high sensitivity to reward. These results provide causal evidence for a dopamine-dependent mechanism instrumental in intrinsically regulated learning and further suggest that subject-specific reward sensitivity drastically alters learning success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere38113
JournaleLife
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 30 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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  • Cite this

    Ripollés, P., Ferreri, L., Mas-Herrero, E., Alicart, H., Gómez-Andrés, A., Marco-Pallares, J., Antonijoan, R. M., Noesselt, T., Valle, M., Riba, J., & Rodriguez-Fornells, A. (2018). Intrinsically regulated learning is modulated by synaptic dopamine signaling. eLife, 7, [e38113]. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.38113