A quadruple dissociation of reward-related behaviour in mice across excitatory inputs to the nucleus accumbens shell

Erin B. Lind, Brian M. Sweis, Anders J. Asp, Manuel Esguerra, Keelia A. Silvis, A. David Redish, Mark J. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh) is critically important for reward valuations, yet it remains unclear how valuation information is integrated in this region to drive behaviour during reinforcement learning. Using an optogenetic spatial self-stimulation task in mice, here we show that contingent activation of different excitatory inputs to the NAcSh change expression of different reward-related behaviours. Our data indicate that medial prefrontal inputs support place preference via repeated actions, ventral hippocampal inputs consistently promote place preferences, basolateral amygdala inputs produce modest place preferences but as a byproduct of increased sensitivity to time investments, and paraventricular inputs reduce place preferences yet do not produce full avoidance behaviour. These findings suggest that each excitatory input provides distinct information to the NAcSh, and we propose that this reflects the reinforcement of different credit assignment functions. Our finding of a quadruple dissociation of NAcSh input-specific behaviours provides insights into how types of information carried by distinct inputs to the NAcSh could be integrated to help drive reinforcement learning and situationally appropriate behavioural responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number119
JournalCommunications biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA019666, R01 DA041808, K02 DA035459 and P30 DA048742) and the Breyer-Longden Family Foundation. Thank you to the University of Minnesota MnDRIVE Optogenetics Core for access to optogenetic equipment and resources and to Ethan Huffington, Cynthia Zheng, Sonal Nagpal, Lucie Ozbek, and Megan Brickner for technical assistance making optical fibers and performing histology.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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