Role of dopamine D2 receptors in optimizing choice strategy in a dynamic and uncertain environment

Shinae Kwak, Namjung Huh, Ji Seon Seo, Jung Eun Lee, Pyung Lim Han, Min W. Jung

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22 Scopus citations


In order to investigate roles of dopamine receptor subtypes in reward-based learning, we examined choice behavior of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor-knockout (D1R-KO and D2R-KO, respectively) mice in an instrumental learning task with progressively increasing reversal frequency and a dynamic two-armed bandit task. Performance of D2R-KO mice was progressively impaired in the former as the frequency of reversal increased and profoundly impaired in the latter even with prolonged training, whereas D1R-KO mice showed relatively minor performance deficits. Choice behavior in the dynamic two-armed bandit task was well explained by a hybrid model including win-stay-lose-switch and reinforcement learning terms. A model-based analysis revealed increased win-stay, but impaired value updating and decreased value-dependent action selection in D2R-KO mice, which were detrimental to maximizing rewards in the dynamic two-armed bandit task. These results suggest an important role of dopamine D2 receptors in learning from past choice outcomes for rapid adjustment of choice behavior in a dynamic and uncertain environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number368
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue numberOctober
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©2014 Kwak, Huh, Seo, Lee, Han and Jung.


  • D1 receptor
  • D2 receptor
  • Dynamic foraging task
  • Mouse
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Reversal


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