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      Vomeronasal and olfactory pathways to the amygdala controlling male hamster sexual behavior: Autoradiographic and behavioral analyses

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      Brain Research

      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Previous studies suggest that the rostral corticomedial amygdala (CMA), particularly the medial nucleus, is an important site where vomeronasal and olfactory stimuli critical to male hamster copulatory behavior are processed. To test the possibility that mating deficits seen after lesions of the rostrally-placed medial nucleus may be due to the interruption of chemosensory afferents to more caudal areas, we injected tritiated amino acids into the accessory and main olfactory bulbs of male hamsters in which we had first produced bilateral electrolytic lesions or sham lesions in either the rostral CMA or basolateral amygdala, and then observed mating behavior. Autoradiographic analysis of "vomeronasal' projections from the accessory olfactory bulb and "olfactory' projections from the main bulb, revealed that rostral CMA lesions which damaged the medial nucleus and extended to the ventral surface of the brain (ventral lesions) interrupted vomeronasal input to the more caudally-placed posteromedial cortical nucleus, but spared olfactory inputs to adjacent caudal areas of the amygdala and piriform lobe. In contrast, lesions which damaged a major portion of the medial nucleus but left its ventral surface intact (dorsal lesions) spared both vomeronasal and olfactory inputs to more caudal areas. Animals with both dorsal and ventral lesions failed to mate postoperatively, whereas animals bearing sham lesions of basolateral amygdaloid lesions, which, like dorsal lesions, spared caudally-directed chemosensory afferents, continued to mate normally. We conclude that mating deficits seen after rostral CMA lesions are due primarily to destruction of the medial nucleus.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Brain Research
          Brain Research
          Elsevier BV
          00068993
          May 1982
          May 1982
          : 240
          : 1
          : 27-41
          Article
          10.1016/0006-8993(82)90641-2
          7093718
          © 1982

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