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Learning Songs with the Help of Dopamine


For more information, see Xiao et al., Neuron 98/1,….

Circuits in the brain are known to signal better and worse performances, but it is unknown whether these signals are sufficient to guide the learning of skilled motor behaviors. Using optogenetic excitation and inhibition of dopaminergic terminals in the basal ganglia of freely behaving songbirds, Lei Xiao, Todd Roberts, and colleagues demonstrate the sufficiency of dopaminergic performance evaluation signals in song learning.

[Video and text source: Cell Press YouTube channel]