The major dopamine pathways in the brain are involved in motor control, motivation, and reward. Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) project to the frontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, and other areas, and these neurons play an important role in motivation and reward. Motor control is governed by dopamine pathways from the substantia nigra to the striatum.
The pain and pleasure systems of the brain: http://mindblog.dericbownds.net/2009/02/envy-and-schadenfreude-in-brain.html The pain network consists of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), insula (Ins), somatosensory cortex (SSC), thalamus (Thal), and periaqueductal gray (PAG). This network is implicated in physical and social pain processes. The reward or pleasure network consists of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), ventral striatum (VS), ventromedial prefrontal cortex…
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a severe mental disorder that affects more than 121 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Maintenance of healthy mental function is known to be closely associated with the dopaminergic pathways, specifically from the dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in the reward circuitry
Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) is the area that synthesizes dopamine, which then sends to nucleus accumbens. Nucelus accumbens is the pleasure center, and it is stimulated by the neurotransmitter dopamine from VTA. VTA also sends dopamine to prefrontal cortex which regulates and controls these impulses. The locus coeruleus is the area packed with norepinephrine; and when stimulated by a lack of the addictive substance, will drives the person to do anything necessary to obtain a fix.
WELL CONNECTED Neurons (green) in the lateral hypothalamus connect with those in the ventral tegmental area of mice’s brains to contribute to compulsive sugar consumption. ~~ Courtesy of Edward Nieh/MIT