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MCSB RIP Talk
May 27, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Speaker: Pieter Derdeyn (PI: Kevin Beier)
Title: Circuit Organization of Ventral Tegmental Area Revealed by Input-Output Tracing and Dimensional Reduction
In the past few decades, evidence has revealed the remarkable complexity of the midbrain dopamine (DA) system. The DA cells are located in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc), brain regions that consist of heterogeneous cell types that receive different inputs, project to different forebrain sites, and have different transcriptional and physiological signatures. These midbrain DA cells are critical to different aspects of normal and pathological experience-dependent learning. Therefore, understanding the anatomical connectivity of unique DA pathways could provide critical insight for mechanisms underlying motivated learning. We and others have developed detailed maps of the input-output relationships of different subpopulations of midbrain DA cells and explored their roles in directing behavioral output. Here we explore in greater detail the input-output specificity of output-defined VTADA cells, investigate the sources of connectivity differences between these subpopulations, and identify previously undefined subpopulations within our datasets.