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Striatal Dopamine, Reward, And Decision Making In Schizophrenia


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Elevated striatal dopamine function is one of the best-established findings in schizophrenia. In this review, we discuss causes and consequences of this striata! dopamine alteration. We first summarize earlier findings regarding striatal reward processing and anticipation using functional neuroimaging. Secondly, we present a series of recent studies that are exemplary for a particular research approach: a combination of theory-driven reinforcement learning and decision-making tasks in combination with computational modeling and functional neuroimaging. We discuss why this approach represents a promising tool to understand underlying mechanisms of symptom dimensions by dissecting the contribution of multiple behavioral control systems working in parallel. We also discuss how it can advance our understanding of the neurobiological implementation of such functions. Thirdly, we review evidence regarding the topography of dopamine dysfunction within the striatum. Finally, we present conclusions and outline important aspects to be considered in future studies.