Amygdaloid neuronal responses to complex visual stimuli in an operant feeding situation in the monkey

Brain Res Bull. 1983 Nov;11(5):515-8. doi: 10.1016/0361-9230(83)90123-5.


In chronically prepared monkeys, 337 neurons were recorded from the anterolateral amygdala during an operant task that required visual discrimination. Twelve percent (39/337) of the neurons responded to one or more of food or non-food visual stimuli. A subset of these responsive neurons was selectively sensitive to the sight of non-food objects with aversive associations. Simultaneous presentation of a food stimulus with the aversive object inhibited the response of these neurons. These response characteristics could not be explained by simple sensory processing of the visual stimuli. It is suggested that the amygdala plays an important role in the elaboration of motivational behavior by using the complex or associative properties of visual stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / cytology
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Electrophysiology
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Macaca / physiology*
  • Macaca mulatta / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Visual Perception*