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Animals infer when and where a reward is available from experience with informative sensory stimuli and their own actions. In vertebrates, this is thought to depend upon the release of dopamine from midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Studies of the role of dopamine have focused almost exclusively on their encoding of informative sensory stimuli; however, many dopaminergic neurons are active just prior to movement initiation, even in the absence of sensory stimuli. How should current frameworks for understanding the role of dopamine incorporate these observations? To address this question, we review recent anatomical and functional evidence for action-related dopamine signaling. We conclude by proposing a framework in which dopaminergic neurons encode subjective signals of action initiation to solve an internal credit assignment problem.