Collaboration Team Beyeler in Nature:
Dopamine modulates medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) activity to mediate diverse behavioural functions. However, the precise circuit computations remain unknown. One potentially unifying model by which dopamine may underlie a diversity of functions is by modulating the signal-to-noise ratio in subpopulations of mPFC neurons. Here we demonstrate that dopamine increases the signal-to-noise ratio of responses to aversive stimuli in mPFC neurons projecting to the dorsal periaqueductal grey (dPAG). This data highlight how dopamine in the mPFC can selectively route sensory information to specific downstream circuits, representing a potential circuit mechanism for valence processing.