Accumbal Neurons that are Activated during Cocaine Self-Administration are Spared from Inhibitory Effects of Repeated Cocaine Self-Administration
Hypoactivity of the accumbens is induced by repeated cocaine exposure and is hypothesized to play a role in cocaine addiction. However, it is difficult to understand how a general hypoactivity of the accumbens, which facilitates multiple types of motivated behaviors, could contribute to the selective increase in drug-directed behavior that defines addiction. Electrophysiological recordings, made during sessions in which rats self-administer cocaine, show that most accumbal neurons that encode events related to drug-directed behavior achieve and maintain higher firing rates during the period of cocaine exposure (Task-Activated neurons) than do other accumbal neurons (Task-Non-Activated neurons).
Laura L Peoples, Alexxai V Kravitz, Kevin G Lynch, and Daniel J Cavanaugh "Accumbal Neurons that are Activated during Cocaine Self-Administration are Spared from Inhibitory Effects of Repeated Cocaine Self-Administration" Neuropsychopharmacology 32: 1141–1158. 2007.