However, the lack of temporal specificity inherent in the above t

However, the lack of temporal specificity inherent in the above techniques, such as permanent lesions or long-term blockade, may obscure the more subtle effects that these regions contribute to this task. To address this, we recorded from single neurons in the NAc core NVP-LDE225 price and shell during the performance of PIT. Further, we assessed how neural encoding was altered by cocaine, a drug that acts by blocking

DA reuptake in the synapse of NAc neurons, by comparing neural firing in animals with a history of cocaine self-administration with naive and saline-infused controls. Experimentally naive male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 10; Charles River Laboratories), aged between 8 and 12 weeks and weighing approximately 300 g at the time of arrival were used. The individually-housed rats were allowed to habituate to the vivarium for approximately 1 week, during which time they had ad-libitum access to food and water and were maintained on a 12 h light/dark schedule. Following habituation, rats were implanted with indwelling electrophysiological arrays in the core and shell of the NAc (see below). After 2 weeks recovery, rats were shifted to food restriction (unlimited water access) that maintained their weight at 85% of their free-feeding baseline weight. Rats remained on this restricted diet for the duration of the training and test procedures. Animal procedures were conducted in accordance


the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the guidelines of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institutional Care PF-02341066 manufacturer and Use Committee. Prior to all behavioral testing, rats were anesthetized with Dipeptidyl peptidase ketamine (100 mg/kg) and xylazine (20 mg/kg), and then placed in a stereotaxic apparatus (Kopf Instruments, Tijunga, CA, USA). The scalp was incised and retracted, and the head was adjusted to level in all planes. Holes were drilled in the skull above the NAc core (AP: +1.8 mm, ML: ± 1.4 mm, relative to Bregma) in one hemisphere, and the NAc shell (AP: + 1.8 mm, ML: ± 0.8 mm) in the other hemisphere. The side of the NAc core and shell array placements was counterbalanced across subjects such that approximately equal numbers of recordings were taken from the left and right core and shell subregions, respectively. An eight-wire recording array (NB Labs, Denison, TX, USA) was slowly lowered into the NAc core or shell at a depth of −6.2 mm from the brain surface. The arrays consisted of two parallel rows of four stainless-steel Teflon-coated, 50 μm-diameter wires, tips spaced evenly 0.5 mm apart. A ground wire for each array was placed in the brain distal to the recording location in the same hemisphere. The apparatus was chronically secured with dental acrylic attached to screws placed on the skull surface. Animals were given an oral dose of 1.

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