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Brain Res. 2003 Feb 7;962(1-2):180-98.

Lidocaine inactivation demonstrates a stronger role for central versus medial extended amygdala in medial forebrain bundle self-stimulation.

Author information

  • Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin--Whitewater, 800 W. Main St., Whitewater, WI 53190, USA. waraczym@mail.uww.edu


Given recent attention to the role of the extended amygdala (EA) in brain reward processes, this study examines the relative contributions of the medial versus central aspects of that forebrain macrostructure to the rewarding effects of medial forebrain bundle (MFB) stimulation. Thirty-one rats were self-stimulated at either the rostral or caudal MFB before and after lidocaine-induced inactivation of an EA target. Relative to non-injection baseline tests, the injection of 0.5 or 1.0 microl of 4% lidocaine into the central EA structures of the lateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the central sublenticular EA, and the interstitial nucleus of the posterior limb of the anterior commissure frequently and substantially disrupted the rewarding effect of MFB stimulation, whereas comparable saline infusions did not. The effects were most pronounced when the central EA was inactivated either bilaterally or ipsilateral to the stimulation site. Contralateral inactivation was less effective but did impair the stimulation's reward effects in several cases. Inactivation of medial EA structures did not have as great or as consistent effects on stimulation reward value except when the lidocaine infusion encroached on the MFB itself. These results support prior demonstrations of the EA's role in brain reward and motivational processes and further show that the central rather than medial aspects of the EA are particularly relevant. The results are discussed in the context of possible anatomical substrates supporting MFB self-stimulation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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