Neurochemistry and molecular neurobiology of reward

J. B. Becker, R. L. Meisel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


The reward system consists of multiple interactive neural systems. This chapter provides an overview of the neurotransmitters and brain regions involved with reward. The neural systems important for reward include brain areas involved in learning that a stimulus is rewarding or associated with reward and separate neural systems that mediate wanting and liking for a stimulus. The ascending dopamine systems are thought to be necessary for wanting, whereas liking is mediated by GABAergic and opioid neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell in association with the ventral pallidum and parabrachial nucleus. The specific systems and molecular mechanisms mediating food reward versus the rewarding aspects of drugs of abuse are discussed. Sex differences in the reward system are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology
Subtitle of host publicationBehavioral Neurochemistry, Neuroendocrinology and Molecular Neurobiology
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages36
ISBN (Print)9780387303468
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


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