The effects of postsession d-amphetamine within subregions of the ventral and dorsal striatum on appetitive Pavlovian learning were assessed. Rats acquired a conditioned approach response on presentation of a stimulus predictive of 10% sucrose solution (unconditioned stimulus [US]), but not during equally frequent presentations of a stimulus uncorrelated with the US. In Experiment 1, postsession d-amphetamine infusions enhanced acquisition of conditioned responding, with no effect on control measures. In Experiment 2, rats received postsession d-amphetamine in the accumbens shell or core. Shell infusions facilitated conditioning; core infusions did not. In Experiment 3, dorsomedial striatal infusions of d-amphetamine also were ineffective. In sum, dopaminergic activation within the shell, but not the core, of the nucleus accumbens facilitates the acquisition of a Pavlovian association.
- Appetitive Behavior/drug effects
- Conditioning, Classical/drug effects
- Dopamine Agents/pharmacology
- Nucleus Accumbens/drug effects
- Receptors, Dopamine/physiology