MOTIVATION, EMOTION, FEEDING, DRINKINGNeural correlates of stimulus–reward association in the rat mediodorsal thalamusKawagoe, Takashia; Tamura, Ryoia; Uwano, Terukoa; Asahi, Takashia; Nishijo, Hisaob; Eifuku, Satoshia; Ono, TaketoshicAuthor Information Departments of aIntegrative Neuroscience bSystem Emotional Science cMolecular and Integrative Emotional Neuroscience, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, Toyama, Japan Correspondence to Dr Taketoshi Ono, MD, PhD, Department of Molecular and Integrative Emotional Neuroscience, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, Toyama 930-0194, Japan Tel: +81 76 434 7220; fax: +81 76 434 5013; e-mail: [email protected] Received 27 December 2006 accepted 7 January 2007 NeuroReport: May 7, 2007 - Volume 18 - Issue 7 - p 683-688 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3280bef9a6 Buy Metrics Abstract Neural activity was recorded from the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus of behaving rats during the discrimination of olfactory cues associated with or without a reward. Approximately 10% of mediodorsal thalamic neurons showed significant responses during the presentation of cues. Most of these neurons responded strongly to cues associated with a reward. These neurons also differentiated between cues, even in the same reinforcement (reward/nonreward) group. All of the neurons tested in extinction, relearning, and/or new-learning trials changed their responses flexibly according to the reward contingency. These neurons were located primarily in the central and medial segments of the mediodorsal thalamus. These results suggest that these mediodorsal thalamic neurons are the neural substrates for association learning of olfactory stimuli with rewards. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.