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Journal Article

Safety out of control: Dopamine and defence

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Citation

Lloyd, K., & Dayan, P. (2016). Safety out of control: Dopamine and defence. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 12(1): 15, pp. 1-23. doi:10.1186/s12993-016-0099-7.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-C2F7-C
Abstract
We enjoy a sophisticated understanding of how animals learn to predict appetitive outcomes and direct their behaviour accordingly. This encompasses well-defined learning algorithms and details of how these might be implemented in the brain. Dopamine has played an important part in this unfolding story, appearing to embody a learning signal for predicting rewards and stamping in useful actions, while also being a modulator of behavioural vigour. By contrast, although choosing correct actions and executing them vigorously in the face of adversity is at least as important, our understanding of learning and behaviour in aversive settings is less well developed. We examine aversive processing through the medium of the role of dopamine and targets such as D2 receptors in the striatum. We consider critical factors such as the degree of control that an animal believes it exerts over key aspects of its environment, the distinction between ‘better’ and ‘good’ actual or predicted future states, and the potential requirement for a particular form of opponent to dopamine to ensure proper calibration of state values.