DOI: 10.1101/474387Nov 21, 2018Paper

Circuit directionality for motivation: lateral accumbens-pallidum, but not pallidum-accumbens, connections regulate motivational attraction to reward cues

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Elizabeth B SmedleyKyle S Smith


Sign-tracking behavior, in which animals interact with a cue that predicts reward, provides an example of how incentive salience can be attributed to cues and elicit motivation. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral pallidum (VP) are two regions involved in cue-driven motivation. The VP, and subregions of the NAc including the medial shell and core, are critical for sign-tracking, and connections between the medial shell and VP are known to participate in sign-tracking and other motivated behaviors. The NAc lateral shell (NAcLSh) is a distinct and understudied subdivision of the NAc, and its contribution to the process by which reward cues acquire value remains unclear. The NAcLSh has been implicated in reward-directed behavior, and has reciprocal connections with the VP, suggesting that NAcLSh and VP interactions could be important mechanisms for incentive salience. Here, we use DREADDs (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) and an intersectional viral delivery strategy to produce a biased inhibition of NAcLSh neurons projecting to the VP, and vice versa. We find that disruption of connections from NAcLSh to VP reduces sign-tracking behavior while not affecting consumption of food rewards. In contrast, ...Continue Reading

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Obstetric Delivery
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Nucleus Accumbens
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