Young, Lauriann E.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Basic Medical Sciences
Role of the mesolimbic system in the mediation of negative reinforcement: Implications for sensorimotor dysfunction
Wray, Samuel R.; Hernandez, N.; Parshad, Omkar
Brain, function, behaviour, drugs and disease : Neurosciences in the Caribbean
Place of Publication
Medical and Scientific Development Trust and Caribbean Brain Research Organization
Date of Publication
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The nucleus accumbens septi (NAS) is strategically placed to translate limbic information into the appropriate motor behaviour. It is accepted as a brain reward centre and has been implicated in the initiation of goal-directed behaviour. The present study was designed to investigate the role of the NAS in the mediation of avoidance behaviour following a negative reward paradigm. NAS-lesioned and sham-operated rats were post-operatively conditioned by subjecting them to a series of electric foot-shocks over a period of three minutes in a confirmed arm of a Y-maze. They were returned to the Y-maze 24 hours (trial 1) and 2 weeks (trial 2) following the aversive training to observe their explanatory and avoidance behaviours. Rats were also pre-operatively conditioned and their behaviour observed at trial 1 and post-operatively at trial 2. Pre-operatively shocked rats exhibited a significant decrease in exploration (p<0.01) and increased lesioned animals exhibited avoidance behaviour throughout both trials, without signs of habituation. The NAS thus, plays a necessary role in sensorimotor functions and appears to facilitate habituation and recovery from aversive learning experiences.....