A discrete stimulus (flashing light) was paired with cocaine (20 mg/kg) to induce conditioned locomotion. To identify brain regions activated during this response, Fos was measured with immunohistochemistry. Although paired subjects displayed robust conditioned locomotion, Fos was not increased in any limbic brain regions analyzed. In contrast, pairing of cocaine with generalized contextual cues (whole room) produced conditioned locomotion and Fos activation in the prelimbic portion of prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens core. These results suggest that the pattern of neuronal activation during cocaine-conditioned activity differs depending on whether a discrete or contextual stimulus is used as a conditioned stimulus. The possibility that expectancy and frustrative nonreward contribute to Fos expression in rats conditioned to contextual cues is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience