Noradrenergic basis of inhibition between reward and punishment in amygdala

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Direct application of L- or DL-norepinephrine crystals to the amygdala of rat brains removed the behavioral suppressant effect of punishment. D-norepinephrine, atropine, and sodium chloride failed to have this effect. Damage produced by implantation of cannulae also produced passive avoidance deficit. Cholinergic blockade of the amygdala by atropine crystals produced a large decrease of milk rewarded operant responses. D-, L-, DL-norepinephrine and sodium chloride had no effect on these responses. Noradrenergic inhibitory synapses in the amygdala attenuate the behavior suppressant effect of punishment when rewarding stimuli occur. Cholinergic synapses in the amygdala increase the behavior facilitatory effect of reward. (17 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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