Primary ventral midbrain cultures provide a reproducible medium to explore neuronal dynamics that are experimentally difficult to perform in vivo. The ventral midbrain contains two important dopaminergic-rich regions: substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). These regions have been shown to be critical in regulation of goal-directed behavior and reward prediction error. Furthermore, dysfunction of the SNc and VTA has been identified as targets in Parkinson's disease and addiction, respectively. Therefore, primary ventral midbrain culture provides a model to explore the relative impact of dopaminergic modulation from molecular to neural network scales.