Dopamine, a prominent neuromodulator, is implicated in many neuropsychiatric disorders. It has wide-ranging effects on both cortical and subcortical brain regions and on many types of cognitive tasks that rely on a variety of different learning and memory systems. As neuroscience and behavioral evidence for the existence of multiple memory systems and their corresponding neural networks accumulated, so did the notion that dopamine’s role is markedly different depending on which memory system is engaged. As a result, dopamine-directed treatments will have different effects on different types of cognitive behaviors. To predict what these effects will be, it is critical to understand: which memory system is mediating the behavior; the neural basis of the mediating memory system; the nature of the dopamine projections into that system; and the time course of dopamine after its release into the relevant brain regions. Consideration of these questions leads to different predictions for how changes in brain dopamine levels will affect automatic behaviors and behaviors mediated by declarative, procedural, and perceptual representation memory systems.
Ashby, F. G., Valentin, V. V., & Von Meer, S. S. (2015, July 29). Differential effects of dopamine-directed treatments on cognition. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. Dove Medical Press Ltd. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S65875