Self-stimulation in 7− and 10−day-old rats

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It has been shown that the infant rat exhibits learned behaviors characteristic of the adult. With a modified self-stimulation paradigm, the present study explored whether 7- and 10-day-old Long-Evans rat pups could learn a discriminated operant to obtain direct electrical stimulation in neural sites that support self-stimulation in adults. By nudging 1 of 2 response manipulanda, at 2 ages (7 and 10 days) and temperatures (22 and 35°C), Ss self-stimulated with electrodes implanted in a variety of forebrain sites, including the prefrontal cortex, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, medial nucleus of the amygdala, and the medial forebrain bundle. The only temperature-sensitive site might be the nucleus accumbens, which was positive only at the higher temperature in 10-day-olds. Results indicate that several forebrain sites demonstrate rewarding properties of stimulation in the preweanling rat pup. (40 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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