The ventral striatum (VS) plays a key role in motivationally guided learning. Setlow et al. show that VS neurons encode the significance of cues associated with both aversive and rewarding outcomes and that this neural linkage develops over time in a fashion roughly paralleling the expression of learned behavior. Subpopulations of VS neurons may contribute distinct signals to the learning process, reflecting either cue significance or learned sensory-motor associations.
Platt, M. L. (2003, May 22). Learning is bitter and sweet in ventral striatum. Neuron. Cell Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0896-6273(03)00291-5