Medical Dictionary

ventral tegmental area

noun
variants: also ventral tegmentum

medical Definition of ventral tegmental area

:an area of the midbrain lying adjacent to the substantia nigra that contains the cell bodies of dopaminergic neurons projecting especially to the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, and olfactory tubercle as part of the mesolimbic system
  • The critical circuit in the brain that underlies reward and reinforcement extends from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the midbrain to the nucleus accumbens … and uses dopamine as its major neurotransmitter …
  • —Steven E. HymanThe Journal of the American Medical Association28 Nov. 2001
  • The study is the first to illustrate that reward memories are created by chemical changes within a brain region called the ventral tegmental area
  • —Mike OliverThe Birmingham (Alabama) News13 Sept. 2013
abbreviation VTA

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