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Significant evidence supports the view that dopamine shapes reward-learning by encoding prediction errors. However, it is unknown whether dopamine decision signals are tailored to the functional specialization of target regions. In this talk, I will report on a novel set of wave-like spatiotemporal activation patterns in dopamine axons and release across the dorsal striatum that switch between different activational motifs. At reward delivery, waves are altered by task demands, propagating from dorsomedial to dorsolateral striatum during instrumental contingencies, and in the opponent direction when rewards are independent of animal behavior. I will demonstrate that our results are consistent with a computational architecture in which striatal dopamine signals are sculpted by inference about agency, and provide evidence for a spatiotemporally “vectorized” role of dopamine in credit assignment that is directed toward specialized “expert” striatal subregions. 

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Seminars this term will be held remotely on Zoom. Links for joining will be sent out before each seminar. Please contact the host if you would like to set up a remote meeting with a speaker. If you have suggestions for future speakers, please contact Lauren (, or Nima (