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Hamid et al. Mesolimbic dopamine signals the value of work. Nature Neuroscience 2016. http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v19/n1/full/nn.4173.html Here is a paper that argues that dopamine signals discounted value of future returns. This is precisely what you are asking. the authors argue, that if rewards are further away in time or space, they are ...
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