In order for animals to behave flexibly, the neural circuits driving their behavior must be able to rapidly change the information pertaining to the behavior that is encoded in the circuit’s activity. Conversely, when behavioral rigidity is required, these same circuits must instead maintain the encoded information in the face of distractions. Experimental evidence suggests that the neuromodulator dopamine plays a significant role in our brain’s ability to switch between these flexible and stable modes, leading to numerous theories of its function. However, dopamine’s role has yet to be directly proven. In my project, I will develop a comprehensive understanding of dopamine’s function in behavioral flexibility by directly measuring and manipulating dopamine and neural activity in rats as they perform a novel flexible decision-making task requiring subjects to either maintain or update the information held in mind for an upcoming behavioral response.