Phasic reward responses in the monkey striatum as detected by voltammetry with diamond microelectrodes


Reward-induced burst firing of dopaminergic neurons has mainly been studied in the primate midbrain. Voltammetry allows high-speed detection of dopamine release in the projection area. Although voltammetry has revealed presynaptic modulation of dopamine release in the striatum, to date, reward-induced release in awakened brains has been recorded only in rodents. To make such recordings, it is possible to use conventional carbon fibres in monkey brains but the use of these fibres is limited by their physical fragility. In this study, constant-potential amperometry was applied to novel diamond microelectrodes for high-speed detection of dopamine. In primate brains during Pavlovian cue-reward trials, a sharp response to a reward cue was detected in the caudate of Japanese monkeys. Overall, this method allows measurements of monoamine release in specific target areas of large brains, the findings from which will expand the knowledge of reward responses obtained by unit recordings.

Neuroscience Research, Volume 71, Issue 1, September 2011, Pages 49-62