Maternal memory refers to the long-term retention of maternal responsiveness as a consequence of animals' prior experiences with their young. This study examined the relative roles of 2 subregions of the nucleus accumbens (NA; shell and core) in maternal memory in rats. NA shell lesions either before or immediately after a short experience significantly disrupted maternal memory, but lesions after a 24-hr maternal experience had no effect. NA core lesions had no significant impact on maternal memory. Cycloheximide (a protein synthesis inhibitor) at a high dose (25 μg/μl) infused in the NA shell immediately after 1 hr of maternal experience also significantly disrupted maternal memory, whereas infusions in the medial preoptic area had no effect. It was concluded that the NA shell, but not the NA core, is involved in the consolidation of maternal memory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience