Rat amygdaloid neuron responses during auditory discrimination

Neuroscience. 1993 Feb;52(3):621-36. doi: 10.1016/0306-4522(93)90411-8.


To investigate amygdaloid contribution to stimulus-affect association and to emotional behavior, single neuron activity was recorded in the basolateral and corticomedial amygdala of the rat amygdala during discrimination of conditioned cue tones associated with positive (glucose and intracranial self-stimulation) and negative (weak electric footshock) unconditioned stimuli. Amygdaloid neurons that responded to two rewarding unconditioned stimuli responded in the same manner to both. Responses to conditioned cue tones and those to rewards were also significantly related, suggesting that amygdaloid neuronal responses to conditioned stimuli are closely related to the affective nature of the corresponding unconditioned stimulation. These might be neuronal functions that underlie stimulus-affect association in the amygdala. In random repeated trials, including acquisition to conditioned cue tones and extinction after acquisition, response plasticity was more evident in basolateral than in corticomedial neurons. Furthermore, more basolateral than corticomedial neurons differentiated glucose and its cue from intracranial self-stimulation and its cue by responding to one but not the other. More basolateral than corticomedial neurons were excited by intracranial self-stimulation and its cue and inhibited by footshock and its cue. The differences between the two nuclear groups suggest that basolateral neurons are more plastic and discriminative, and corticomedial neurons respond indiscriminately to positive and negative unconditioned or conditioned stimuli. The results indicate amygdaloid neuron involvement in stimulus-affect association. Basolateral neurons may be more involved than corticomedial neurons in discriminating and learning conditioned stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception
  • Avoidance Learning*
  • Conditioning, Operant*
  • Discrimination, Psychological*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electroshock
  • Male
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reward
  • Self Stimulation