By Nasser HM, Calu DJ, Schoenbaum G, Sharpe MJ
"Phasic activity of midbrain dopamine neurons is currently thought to encapsulate the prediction-error signal described in Sutton and Barto’s (1981) model-free reinforcement learning algorithm. This phasic signal is thought to contain information about the quantitative value of reward, which transfers to the reward-predictive cue after learning. This is argued to endow the reward-predictive cue with the value inherent in the reward, motivating behavior toward cues signaling the presence of reward. Yet theoretical and empirical research has implicated prediction-error signaling in learning that extends far beyond a transfer of quantitative value to a reward-predictive cue. Here, we review the research which demonstrates the complexity of how dopaminergic prediction errors facilitate learning."