Ventromedial syndrome: The rat's “finickiness” results from the obesity, not from the lesions


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Abstract

6 obese, finicky female hooded rats with lesions of the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMH) and 7 sham-lesioned controls progressively lost weight on an unpalatable diet until at a critical basal level they increased their intake to prevent further loss of weight. The critical basal body weight was similar in both groups and showed no change in the controls when they were subsequently lesioned and retested. At weight levels below the critical basal level the feeding behavior of lesioned and unlesioned Ss was similar, and finickiness could be demonstrated only when body weight exceeded it. The basal level bore no relation to the plateau level of body weight reached by Ss on a free diet. Suggestions that the VMH excites as well as inhibits feeding seem untenable in view of the failure of VMH lesions to impair defense of body weight in the nonobese rat. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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