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About vta-2

Description of dataset vta-2 (ventral tegmental area, dataset 2).

Summary of the data

We trained transgenic rats (expressing Cre in TH containing cells) on an operant trial and error task and recorded the activity of dopaminergic neurons in lateral ventral tegmental area (VTA-l). We also recoded the activity of the same cells in a Pavlovian approach task. To confirm the phenotype of recorded cells we expressed excitatory opsin ChR2 using a cre-dependent adeno-associated virus in dopaminergic cells of VTA-l and recorded the response pattern of these individual units to brief blue laser pulses. This dataset contains a total of 29 identified dopaminergic cells recorded from 4 rats. Primary results from of this study were published in Nature 2019:

Mohebi, A., Pettibone, J.R., Hamid, A.A., Wong, J.T., Vinson, L.T., Patriarchi, T., Tian, L., Kennedy, R.T. and Berke, J.D., 2019. Dissociable dopamine dynamics for learning and motivation. Nature, 570(7759), pp.65-70.

Format of the data

The data is stored in Matlab files.  The format is described in the document linked to at the bottom of this page. Total data size is about 25 MB.

Conditions for usage of this data in publications

If you publish any work using the data, please cite the publication above (Mohebi et al. Nature 2019) also cite the data set using the following:

Ali Mohebi, Josh Berke (2019); Spiking activity of dopaminergic cells in VTA-l during multitude of tasks and conditions.

 The above citation uses a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which is assigned to the data set.  The DOI was created using DataCite ( and the California Digital Library, "EZID" system (

How to download the data

Data may be downloaded from:
A account is required. See the download link for more instructions.

Getting help using the data

If you have questions about using the data, please post them on the forum for using data sets.

Documentation file

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