Document Detail

Ventral striatal control of appetitive motivation: role in ingestive behavior and reward-related learning.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15019426     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The nucleus accumbens is a brain region that participates in the control of behaviors related to natural reinforcers, such as ingestion, sexual behavior, incentive and instrumental learning, and that also plays a role in addictive processes. This paper comprises a review of work from our laboratory that focuses on two main research areas: (i). the role of the nucleus accumbens in food motivation, and (ii). its putative functions in cellular plasticity underlying appetitive learning. First, work within a number of different behavioral paradigms has shown that accumbens neurochemical systems play specific and dissociable roles in different aspects of food seeking and food intake, and part of this function depends on integration with the lateral hypothalamus and amygdala. We propose that the nucleus accumbens integrates information related to cognitive, sensory, and emotional processing with hypothalamic mechanisms mediating energy balance. This system as a whole enables complex hierarchical control of adaptive ingestive behavior. Regarding the second research area, our studies examining acquisition of lever-pressing for food in rats have shown that activation of glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, within broadly distributed but interconnected regions (nucleus accumbens core, posterior striatum, prefrontal cortex, basolateral and central amygdala), is critical for such learning to occur. This receptor stimulation triggers intracellular cascades that involve protein phosphorylation and new protein synthesis. It is hypothesized that activity in this distributed network (including D1 receptor activity) computes coincident events and thus enhances the probability that temporally related actions and events (e.g. lever pressing and delivery of reward) become associated. Such basic mechanisms of plasticity within this reinforcement learning network also appear to be profoundly affected in addiction.
Ann E Kelley
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews     Volume:  27     ISSN:  0149-7634     ISO Abbreviation:  Neurosci Biobehav Rev     Publication Date:  2004 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-03-15     Completed Date:  2004-04-19     Revised Date:  2014-03-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7806090     Medline TA:  Neurosci Biobehav Rev     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  765-76     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Appetitive Behavior / physiology*
Basal Ganglia / physiology*
Conditioning, Operant / physiology*
Eating / physiology
Feeding Behavior / physiology*
Hypothalamic Area, Lateral / physiology
Nerve Net / physiology
Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
Nucleus Accumbens / cytology,  physiology
Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / physiology
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate

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