Neural ensemble coding of satiety states.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The motivation to start or terminate a meal involves the continual updating of information on current body status by central gustatory and reward systems. Previous electrophysiological and neuroimaging investigations revealed region-specific decreases in activity as the subject's state transitions from hunger to satiety. By implanting bundles of microelectrodes in the lateral hypothalamus, orbitofrontal cortex, insular cortex, and amygdala of hungry rats that voluntarily eat to satiety, we have measured the behavior of neuronal populations through the different phases of a complete feeding cycle (hunger-satiety-hunger). Our data show that while most satiety-sensitive units preferentially responded to a unique hunger phase within a cycle, neuronal populations integrated single-unit information in order to reflect the animal's motivational state across the entire cycle, with higher activity levels during the hunger phases. This distributed population code might constitute a neural mechanism underlying meal initiation under different metabolic states.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • de Araujo, IE; Gutierrez, R; Oliveira-Maia, AJ; Pereira, A; Nicolelis, MAL; Simon, SA

Published Date

  • August 17, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 51 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 483 - 494

PubMed ID

  • 16908413

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0896-6273

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.neuron.2006.07.009


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States