Modulation of odor-entrained ensembles by phasic dopamine in the olfactory striatum

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Phasic dopamine release mediates the ‘salience’ of environmental stimuli whereby one stimulus becomes dominant over competing other inputs.

To obtain a better understanding of the mechanisms of stimulus selection, we propose here to examine the cellular processes by which phasic dopamine modulates ventral striatal odour-activated cellular ensembles with slice and in vivo tetrode recordings.

Particularly, we will test whether weakly and strongly responding neurons to odours display similar plasticity induced by midbrain phasic dopamine and dopamine’s recently discovered direct control of striatal cholinergic tone, hoping to further our understanding of these clinically relevant transmitters.
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*Principal investigators of other projects within the CRC