ventral tegmental area

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. Hyman, The Journal of the American Medical Association, 28 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 Oliver, The Birmingham (Alabama) News, 13 Sept. 2013 abbreviation VTA

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