There is mounting evidence that the mesolimbic dopamine system carries valuation signals not only for appetitive or gain-related stimuli, with which it is traditionally associated, but also for aversive and loss-related stimuli. Cellular-level studies demonstrate that the neuronal architecture to support aversive stimuli encoding in this system does exist. Both cellular-level and human neuroimaging research suggest the co-existence of appetitive and aversive prediction-error signals within the mesocorticolimbic system. These findings shift the view of the mesocorticolimbic system as a singular pathway for reward to a system with multiple signals across a wide range of domains that drive value-based decision making.
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