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Enhanced incentive motivation and consummatory behavior after bilateral lesions of the subthalamic nucleus



Enhanced incentive motivation and consummatory behavior after bilateral lesions of the subthalamic nucleus



Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 27(1): 172



Inactivation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has proven to have beneficial effects on motor disorders observed in parkinsonism. However, little is known regarding possible improvement of nonmotor symptoms such as cognitive or mood and motivation deficits. We have previously shown that bilateral STN lesions induce attentional deficits in rats. Whether STN lesions could affect motivational function remains unknown. Here, we measured effects of STN lesions on both consummatory behavior (latency to eat 100 food pellets) and appetitive behavior, assessed in three ways: i) locomotor activity conditioned to food presentation; ii) the efficacy of a food related conditioned reinforcer to support new learning (i.e. in the conditioned reinforcement paradigm) and iii) responding under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. Bilateral STN lesions reduced the time required to eat 100 food pellets and increased the reactivity for food expectation. Finally, STN lesions increased the level to which rats are willing to work for food in the progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. Taken together, these results reveal that the STN is involved in a motivational circuit, that might be critical as regard to the antiparkinsonian therapy.

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