The reward system and the medial prefrontal cortex

Investigating neural circuits that control reward learning is crucial if we want to understand healthy behavior or disorders like addiction.

The medial prefrontal cortex is a major higher-order element of the brain’s reward system. It can directly control the so-called mesolimbic pathway in which dopamine transmission is responsible for reward-mediated learning and conditioning.


We are driven to understand how the medial prefrontal cortex and the mesolimbic system – together called the mesocorticolimbic system – are wired anatomically. In this project we combine classical tract tracing techniques, special mouse and viral strains and fluorescent microscopy.


Related publication:


Molecular characteristics and laminar distribution of prefrontal neurons projecting to the mesolimbic system

eLife. 2022 Sep 5; 11:e78813. doi: 10.7554/eLife.78813



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Images from the reward network