Connections of the nucleus accumbens

Brain Res. 1976 Apr 9;105(3):389-403. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(76)90589-8.


Reports from previous works has given different classifications for the nucleus accumbens. There also appears to be a general lack of information regarding the fiber connections of the nucleus. The present investigation was undertaken to clarify the connections of this structure. Silver impregnation methods were used to discern some of the afferent fibers of the nucleus, and autoradiographic techniques were used to locate target areas of efferent projections. Afferents were found to be predominately from the septum. Other sources of possible afferents were the mid cingulate gyrus and the ventral nucleus of the diagonal band. No argyrophilia was observed in the nucleus accumbens following transection of the fornix body, lesions of the anterior orbital frontal cortex or anterior cingulate gyrus. On the basis of grain counts made from autoradiographic studies, the nucleus accumbens projects predominately to the lateral hypothalamus. Counts above background were found in the cingulate gyrus, septum, ventral nucleus of the diagonal band, midline thalamic nuclei, habenula, caudate and substantia nigra. Thus, efferent projections appear to distribute to both limbic and extrapyramidal structures. Considering these connections and the functions reported by various workers the nucleus accumbens may serve as bridge between limbic and extrapyramidal motor systems effecting limbic influence in some movements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Caudate Nucleus / anatomy & histology
  • Gyrus Cinguli / anatomy & histology
  • Haplorhini
  • Hypothalamus / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways
  • Septal Nuclei / anatomy & histology*
  • Septum Pellucidum / anatomy & histology*
  • Substantia Nigra / anatomy & histology
  • Thalamic Nuclei / anatomy & histology