The ventrolateral caudoputamen (VLCP) is well known to participate in the control of orofacial movements and forepaw usage accompanying feeding behavior. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that insect hunting is associated with a distinct Fos up-regulation in the VLCP at intermediate rostro-caudal levels. Moreover, using the reversible blockade with lidocaine, we have previously suggested that the VLCP implements the stereotyped actions seen during prey capture and handling, and may influence the motivational drive to start attacking the roaches, as well. However, considering that (1) lidocaine suppresses action potentials not only in neurons, but also in fibers-of-passage, rendering the observed behavioral effect not specific to the ventrolateral caudoputamen; (2) the short lidocaine-induced inactivation period had left a relatively narrow window to observe the behavioral changes; and (3) that the restriction stress to inject the drug could have also disturbed hunting behavior, in the present study, we have examined the role of the VLCP in predatory hunting by placing bilateral NMDA lesions three weeks previous to the behavior testing. We were able to confirm that the VLCP serves to implement the stereotyped sequence of actions seen during prey capture and handling, but the study did not confirm its role in influencing the motivational drive to hunt. Together with other studies from our group, the present work serves as an important piece of information that helps to reveal the neural systems underlying predatory hunting.
Bibliographical noteOpen access under the Elsevier OA license.
FunderFundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) (05/59286-4) to N.S.C, and from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) to N.S.C. and C.C.; W.F.O. and I.C.F. were supported by FAPESP fellowship.
- Ventrolateral caudoputamen
- Sensorimotor striatum
- Hunting behavior
- Action selection
- Motivated behavior
- Basal ganglia