The nucleus accumbens and the ventral tegmental area are the primary sites where addictive drugs act. The following are commonly considered to be addictive: cocaine, alcohol, opioids, nicotine, cannabinoids, amphetamine, and their analogs. These drugs alter the neuromodulatory influence of dopamine on the processing of reinforcement signals by ...
The ventral tegmental area. The primary role of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is the assessment of need. The VTA processes information to ensure satisfaction; it then forwards this information to the nucleus accumbens (NA) using the neurotransmitter dopamine. If there is an increase in dopamine in the VTA there is a concurrent increase in ...
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Dec 23, 2014 · Watch this 2-Minute Neuroscience video to learn more about the ventral tegmental area. When someone uses a drug of abuse, or attains some otherwise rewarding stimulus, dopamine levels typically rise in the nucleus accumbens , a structure found in the basal forebrain that is an important part of the reward system.
Nov 25, 2020 · The nucleus accumbens also sends efferent fibers to the ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra and the reticular formation present in the pons. Cells. Most of the cells present in the nucleus accumbens are the GABA secreting cells, the GABAergic neurons. They are called the medium spiny neurons or MSNs.
The nucleus accumbens receives dopaminergic inputs from the ventral tegmental area, which connect via the mesolimbic pathway. The nucleus accumbens is often described as one part of a cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical loop. Dopaminergic inputs from the VTA modulate the activity of GABAergic neurons within the nucleus accumbens.
Neurons within the nucleus accumbens that receive the highest levels of excitatory input will be in an activated state that is further enhanced by dopaminergic input from the ventral tegmental area that conveys information about salience and reward value [15,88–92].