Dopamine does double duty in motivating cognitive effort

Cognitive control is subjectively costly, suggesting that engagement is modulated in relationship to incentive state. Dopamine appears to play key roles. In particular, dopamine may mediate cognitive effort by two broad classes of functions: 1) modulating the functional parameters of working memory circuits subserving effortful cognition, and 2) mediating value-learning and decision-making about effortful cognitive action. Here we tie together these two lines of research, proposing how dopamine serves “double duty”, translating incentive information into cognitive motivation.