ERIC Number: EJ910244
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Hedonic and Nucleus Accumbens Neural Responses to a Natural Reward Are Regulated by Aversive Conditioning
Roitman, Mitchell F.; Wheeler, Robert A.; Tiesinga, Paul H. E.; Roitman, Jamie D.; Carelli, Regina M.
Learning & Memory, v17 n11 p539-546 Nov 2010
The nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays a role in hedonic reactivity to taste stimuli. Learning can alter the hedonic valence of a given stimulus, and it remains unclear how the NAc encodes this shift. The present study examined whether the population response of NAc neurons to a taste stimulus is plastic using a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) paradigm. Electrophysiological and electromyographic (EMG) responses to intraoral infusions of a sucrose (0.3 M) solution were made in naive rats (Day 1). Immediately following the session, half of the rats (n = 6; Paired) received an injection of lithium chloride (0.15 M; i.p.) to induce malaise and establish a CTA while the other half (n = 6; Unpaired) received a saline injection. Days later (Day 5), NAc recordings during infusions of sucrose were again made. Electrophysiological and EMG responses to sucrose did not differ between groups on Day 1. For both groups, the majority of sucrose responsive neurons exhibited a decrease in firing rate (77% and 71% for Paired and Unpaired, respectively). Following conditioning, in Paired rats, EMG responses were indicative of aversion. Moreover, the majority of responsive NAc neurons now exhibited an increase in firing rate (69%). Responses in Unpaired rats were unchanged by the experience. Thus, the NAc differentially encodes the hedonic value of the same stimulus based on learned associations.
Descriptors: Conditioning, Rewards, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Role, Olfactory Perception, Stimuli, Learning Processes, Diagnostic Tests, Physiology, Animals, Biochemistry, Responses, Associative Learning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A