The dorsomedial striatum (DMS) plays a key role in action selection, but less is known about how direct and indirect pathway spiny projection neurons (dSPNs and iSPNs, respectively) contribute to choice rejection in freely moving animals. Here, we use pathway-specific chemogenetic manipulation during a serial choice foraging task to test the role of dSPNs and iSPNs in learned choice rejection. We find that chemogenetic activation, but not inhibition, of iSPNs disrupts rejection of nonrewarded choices, contrary to predictions of a simple “select/suppress” heuristic. Our findings suggest that iSPNs’ role in stopping and freezing does not extend in a simple fashion to choice rejection in an ethological, freely moving context. These data may provide insights critical for the successful design of interventions for addiction or other conditions in which it is desirable to strengthen choice rejection.

Kristen Delevich,  Benjamin Hoshal, Lexi Z. Zhou, Yuting Zhang, Satya Vedula, Wan Chen Lin, Juliana Chase, Anne G.E. Collins, Linda Wilbrecht, Activation, but not inhibition, of the indirect pathway disrupts choice rejection in a freely moving, multiple-choice foraging task, 40(4) Cell Reports 111129 (July 26, 2022). DOI: