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Neuroscience. 2014 Jan 31;258:340-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.11.028. Epub 2013 Nov 23.

Nucleus accumbens core lesions enhance two-way active avoidance.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, United States.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, United States; Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, United States.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, United States; Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, United States. Electronic address: mroesch@umd.edu.

Abstract

The majority of work examining the nucleus accumbens core (NAc) has focused on functions pertaining to behaviors guided by appetitive outcomes. These studies have pointed to the NAc as being critical for motivating behavior toward desirable outcomes. For example, we have recently shown that lesions of the NAc impaired performance on a reward-guided decision-making task that required rats to choose between differently valued rewards. Unfortunately, much less is known about the role that the NAc plays in motivating behavior when aversive outcomes are predicted. To address this issue we asked if NAc lesions impact performance on a two-way active avoidance task in which rats must learn to shuttle back and forth in a behavioral training box in order to avoid a footshock predicted by an auditory tone. Although bilateral NAc lesions initially impaired reward-guided decision-making, we found that the same lesions improved acquisition and retention of two-way active avoidance.

KEYWORDS:

ANOVA; CS; DS; NIH; National Institutes of Health; S-R; US; analysis of variance; avoidance; conditioned stimulus; dorsal striatum; escape; nucleus accumbens; rat; stimulus–response; striatum; unconditioned stimulus

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