Involvement of the Nucleus Accumbens in the Formation of Spatial Selection Reactions in Rats in a Radial Maze

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Studies on rats demonstrated that lesioning of the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens led to impairment of the ability of experimental rats to perform error-free identification of the arm containing the largest amount of reinforcement in a radial maze. The behavioral deficit was not associated with impaired motivation or sensorimotor learning ability, as there was no such deficit in operated rats during sequential presentation of local discriminant stimuli identifying the location of the forthcoming reinforcement. These data suggest that the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens, which receives convergent projections from the ventral hippocampus, amygdala, and ventral tegmental area, plays an important role in organizing the spatial orientation of the animal in the direction of the preferred reinforcement in conditions of a sensory information deficit.

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