Lateral Hypothalamus: Reevaluation of Function in Motivated Feeding Behavior

Science  14 May 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3984, pp. 744-746
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3984.744


In contrast to the existing views of lateral hypothalamic function, food motivated behavior appears to be greatly enhanced in animals that have recovered from lateral hypothalamic lesions. In a familiar environment, these rats begin eating 4.8 times sooner than normal controls, 5.6 times faster than hyperphagic rats that have received ventromedial hypothalamic lesions, and 4.7 times faster than animals with septal lesions. The same relation holds for latencies to eat in a novel environment and for rate of acquisition of a simple food-rewarded discrimination task. The concept of a lateral hypothalamic "hunger center" is questioned.