Facilitated extinction of appetitive instrumental conditioning following excitotoxic lesions of the core or the medial shell subregion of the nucleus accumbens in rats

Helen H.J. Pothuizen, Joram Feldon, Benjamin K. Yee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The nucleus accumbens has been implicated in the control of goal-directed behaviour, including instrumental conditioning. Here, we evaluated the effect of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced excitotoxic lesions restricted to either the core or the medial shell subregions of the nucleus accumbens (NAC) on extinction in rats using a trial discrete fixed ratio-5 (FR-5) appetitive operant procedure. Neither core nor shell lesions of the NAC affected the acquisition of instrumental responding. Both lesions facilitated the cessation of responding when the instrumental act no longer yielded reinforcement. Our results suggest that both the NAC core and medial shell contribute to the control of extinction learning of appetitively motivated instrumental behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-128
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume172
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Behavioural switching
  • Extinction learning
  • Incentive motivation
  • Operant behaviour
  • Ventral striatum

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