Article

Reward-related neuronal activity in the subthalamic nucleus of the monkey.

Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de la Cognition, CNRS, 31 chemin Joseph Aiguier, 13402 Marseille cedex 20, France.
Neuroreport (Impact Factor: 1.64). 09/2005; 16(11):1241-4. DOI: 10.1097/00001756-200508010-00022
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The subthalamic nucleus is a key structure for motor information processing in the basal ganglia. Little is known about its involvement in other aspects of behavior such as motivation. We investigated neuronal activity in the subthalamic nucleus while a monkey performed arm-reaching movements to obtain a liquid reward. Most neurons were modulated both during the movement and reward phases of the task. The changes in activity occurring after or just before the delivery of reward consisted of either increases or decreases in firing and were not directly related to mouth movements. These findings indicate that STN neurons are involved in the detection and expectation of reward, consistent with a role for these neurons in the processing of motivational information.

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