Comparison of intracranial self-stimulation evoked from lateral hypothalamus and ventral tegmentum: analysis based on stimulation parameters and behavioural response characteristics

Brain Res Bull. 1996;41(6):399-408. doi: 10.1016/s0361-9230(96)00217-1.


The comparison of intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) derived across the anteroposterior axis of medial forebrain bundle (MFB) from the anterior border of lateral hypothalamus (LH) to the ventral mesencephalon including ventral tegmental area-substantia nigra (VTA-SN) in Wistar rats was assessed through stimulation parameters and behavioural response characteristics. The interpretation of response rate/charge consumption (muC/min) with respect to rectangular wave and sine wave electrical stimulation parameters suggests that the rectangular wave parameters are better in order to get the maximum responding rates. The most vigorous and robust responding was observed in the VTA or VTA-SN boundary placements, followed by placements in medial sector of LH. The acquisition of ICSS was fastest in the case of VTA-stimulation. The next site with respect to rapidity of ICSS was posterio-ventral LH. The extinction curves indicated that it is faster and exponential in case of VTA-SN, but it is slower with longer duration in case of LH-MFB. ICSS of SN were accompanied by exploratory locomotion and head bobbing. Thirty-one percent subjects with SN/VTA stimulation showed rotational behaviour. Seventy-eight percent of subjects with LH stimulations showed stimulus-bound ejaculations. Thirty-two percent of subjects with posterior LH stimulations showed biting of pedal edges. LH stimulations were accompanied by induced seizures and increased grooming in 18% and 13% of subjects, respectively. There was lateralisation of cerebral hemispheric function as right paw preference was noted in majority of rats, whether sites of stimulation were in the left or right cerebral hemisphere. The various other modes of pedal pressing operants like use of paw and mouth, alternate paw dribbling, use of head electrode assembly to manipulate the pedal were also recorded and analysed.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology*
  • Hypothalamus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Self Stimulation / physiology*
  • Tegmentum Mesencephali / physiology*