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Striatal dopamine mediates the interface between motivational and
cognitive control in humans: Evidence from Parkinson's disease
Esther Aarts, Rick C. Helmich, Bastiaan R. Bloem, and Roshan Cools
Cognitive control is driven by motivational goals. Striatal dopamine has
been suggested to provide the basis for this interaction between moti-
vational and cognitive control (Aarts et al., Neuropsychopharm 2010),
with a proposed direction of information flow from ventral to dorsal
striatum (Haber et al., J Neurosci 2000) (Fig. 1).
We sought to investigate the motivation-cognition interface in patients
with mild Parkinson's disease (PD) after dopaminergic medication with-
drawal. In early PD, dopamine depletion is relatively restricted to the
dorsal striatum, not yet extending to the ventral striatum.
In motivationally relevant contexts, intact function of the ven-
tral striatum (reward anticipation) might compensate for impaired
dorsal striatal function (cognitive flexibility) in early PD.