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Dopamine pathways originate from groups of cells in the rostral areas of the brain. These groups were given the titles A8, A9, and A10 by the Swedish neuoanatomists Falck and Hillarp who developed techniques for visualizing catecholamine cells in the brain in the 1960s.
It has since been shown that dopamine neurones are organised into four main pathways in the brain.
- nigrostriatal system runs from the substantia nigra (A9) forwards to the caudate, putamen, and globus pallidus, which together make up the corpus striatum.
- mesocortical pathway runs from the ventral tegmental area (A10) forwards to the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, septum, olfactory nuclei.
- mesolimbic pathway
- tuberoinfundibular pathway
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