Navigation is an essential behavior for the survival of a wide range of animal species. The brain must execute fast and efficient ‘where-to-go’ decisions towards a goal to achieve desired outcomes. My research, conducted in Hyung-Bae Kwon’s lab, has shown the cellular and circuit underpinnings of cognition underlying “where-to-go” decision. Particularly, we focused on neural representations of a spatial goal, thought to guide map-based navigation towards the goal. To examine a goal system in the brain, we targeted the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a locus of receiving inputs about spatial-information, reward, and of interfacing outputs for action control. We identified a ‘functionally-defined’ NAc neuronal population that encodes a goal location in the context of valued environment through the medium of dopamine and that truly guides navigation towards the goal by directly manipulating them. Finding goal-directing neurons in the NAc extends the concept of the cognitive map beyond hippocampal-entorhinal circuits and offers advances in understanding fundamental operating mechanisms of flexible action control to pursue diverse behavioral goals stored in cognitive maps.