Lateral Hypothalamic Stimulation in Satiated Rats: The Rewarding Effects of Self-Induced Drinking

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  01 Sep 1967:
Vol. 157, Issue 3792, pp. 1077-1079
DOI: 10.1126/science.157.3792.1077


It is well known that thirsty rats will press a lever for water. The purpose of the present experiment was to demonstrate that, when water is freely available, nonthirsty rats will press a lever for thirst. Three satiated rats, bearing permanently implanted electrodes, were trained to press a lever which caused stimulation to be applied to an area of the lateral hypothalamus which induces thirst. The animals were tested with and without water available. Two of the rats pressed the lever to induce thirst only when water was available. Thus, thirst-inducing stimulation was not rewarding by itself, but only in combination with drinking.