Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Emotional environments retune the valence of appetitive versus fearful functions in nucleus accumbens

Abstract

The nucleus accumbens mediates both appetitive motivation for rewards and fearful motivation toward threats, which are generated in part by glutamate-related circuits organized in a keyboard fashion. At rostral sites of the medial shell, localized glutamate disruptions typically generate intense appetitive behaviors in rats, but the disruption incrementally generates fearful behaviors as microinjection sites move more caudally. We found that exposure to stressful environments caused caudal fear-generating zones to expand rostrally, filling 90% of the shell. Conversely, a preferred home environment caused fear-generating zones to shrink and appetitive-generating zones to expand caudally, filling 90% of the shell. Thus, the emotional environments retuned the generation of motivation in corticolimbic circuits.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Examples of Fos plumes surrounding microinjections.
Figure 2: Fos plume maps of appetitive versus fearful behaviors generated by DNQX microinjections.
Figure 3: Summary map of glutamatergic valence generation in the medial shell.

References

  1. Maldonado-Irizarry, C.S., Swanson, C.J. & Kelley, A.E. J. Neurosci. 15, 6779–6788 (1995).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Reynolds, S.M. & Berridge, K.C. J. Neurosci. 22, 7308–7320 (2002).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Reynolds, S.M. & Berridge, K.C. Eur. J. Neurosci. 17, 2187–2200 (2003).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Stratford, T.R. & Kelley, A.E. J. Neurosci. 17, 4434–4440 (1997).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Owings, D.H. & Morton, E.S. Animal Vocal Communication: a New Approach (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  6. Reynolds, S.M. & Berridge, K.C. J. Neurosci. 21, 3261–3270 (2001).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Wilkie, D.M., MacLennan, A.J. & Pinel, J.P. J. Exp. Anal. Behav. 31, 299–306 (1979).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  8. Valenstein, E.S., Cox, V.C. & Kakolewski, J.W. Science 163, 1084 (1969).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Berridge, K.C. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 191, 391–431 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Berridge, K.C. & Robinson, T.E. Brain Res. Brain Res. Rev. 28, 309–369 (1998).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Kapur, S. Am. J. Psychiatry 160, 13–23 (2003).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Kringelbach, M.L. & Rolls, E.T. Prog. Neurobiol. 72, 341–372 (2004).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Robinson, T.E. & Berridge, K.C. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 54, 25–53 (2003).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Everitt, B.J. & Robbins, T.W. Nat. Neurosci. 8, 1481–1489 (2005).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank S. Mahler and E. Jackson for comments on an earlier version of the manuscript and P. Hoberg and M. DiMondo for assistance with histology. Finally, we are grateful to the musician and former University of Michigan student Iggy Pop for developing art that is also of use to science. This research was supported by US National Institutes of Health grants (MH63649 and DA015188 to K.C.B.) and by a National Research Service Award fellowship to S.M.R. (DA14679).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Sheila M Reynolds or Kent C Berridge.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Text and Figures

Supplementary Figures 1–7, Methods, Results (PDF 2575 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Reynolds, S., Berridge, K. Emotional environments retune the valence of appetitive versus fearful functions in nucleus accumbens. Nat Neurosci 11, 423–425 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn2061

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nn2061

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing