Mesolimbic dopamine pathway
Similar term(s): mesolimbic dopaminergic system, mesolimbic dopamine pathway.
Brain circuit that is activated by rewarding stimuli, e.g., food, sex and by
addictive psychoactive drugs, such as cocaine , amphetamines , and alcohol . The
intense feeling from activation of the reward or pleasure experienced previously
leads to a desire for, or repetition of, the behaviour.
In chronic substance users this can lead to chronic and intense cravings which
may be activated by anticipatory dopamine release in response to cues (e.g. drug
The mesolimbic dopamine pathway comprises the ventral tegmental area (VTA),
nucleus accumbens (Nac) and the prefrontal cortex.
Source: GreenFacts, based on Alcohol & Other Drugs
A to Z Drug Glossary
To read about this term in context:
GreenFacts Summary on Psychoactive Drugs Tobacco, Alcohol, and Illicit Substances: