The mesocortical pathway is a neural pathway that connects the ventral tegmentum to the cerebral cortex, particularly the frontal lobes. It is one of the four major dopamine pathways in the brain. It is essential to the normal cognitive function of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (part of the frontal lobe), and is thought to be involved in motivation and emotional response.
This pathway may be the brain system that is abnormal or functioning abnormally in psychoses, such as schizophrenia. It is thought to be associated with the negative symptoms of schizophrenia which include avolition, alogia and flat affect. This pathway is closely associated with the mesolimbic pathway, which is also known as the mesolimbic reward pathway.
Other dopamine pathways
Other major dopamine pathways include:
- ^ Diaz, Jaime. How Drugs Influence Behavior. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1996.
Neurotransmitter systems Acetylcholine BA/MSerotonin pathwaysRaphe nuclei · Anterior raphespinal tract · Lateral raphespinal tract AA
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