Differential coding of reward and movement information in the dorsomedial striatal direct and indirect pathways
Authors and Affiliations
The direct and indirect pathways of the basal ganglia have long been thought to mediate behavioral promotion and inhibition, respectively. However, this classic dichotomous model has been recently challenged. To better understand neural processes underlying reward-based learning and movement control, we recorded from direct (dSPNs) and indirect (iSPNs) pathway spiny projection neurons in the dorsomedial striatum of D1-Cre and D2-Cre mice performing a probabilistic Pavlovian conditioning task. dSPNs tend to increase activity while iSPNs decrease activity as a function of reward value, suggesting the striatum represents value in the relative activity levels of dSPNs versus iSPNs. Lick offset-related activity increase is largely dSPN selective, suggesting dSPN involvement in suppressing ongoing licking behavior. Rapid responses to negative outcome and previous reward-related responses are more frequent among iSPNs than dSPNs, suggesting stronger contributions of iSPNs to outcome-dependent behavioral adjustment. These findings provide new insights into striatal neural circuit operations.