Object-Carrying by Rats: An Approach to the Behavior Produced by Brain Stimulation

Science  14 Nov 1969:
Vol. 166, Issue 3907, pp. 903-905
DOI: 10.1126/science.166.3907.903


Rats were provided with opportunity to turn reinforcing hypothalamic stimulation on and off by traversing back and forth across a chamber. When provided with edible and inedible objects, all animals that self-stimulated carried them from the stimulation to the nonstimulation side. Neither food deprivation nor a history of stimulus-bound eating produced a preference for the edible objects. Equivalent stimulation provided without regard to the animals' location in the chamber did not elicit object-carrying. Results are interpreted in terms of the natural conditions which normally elicit this species-specific unit of behavior. Implications for understanding other behavior patterns elicited by hypothalamic stimulation are suggested.