Participation of brain stimulation reward substrates in memory: Anatomical and biochemical evidence

A. Routtenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


On the basis of the pioneering leads provided by James Olds, brain stimulation reward has been shown to be a) derived from specific anatomical locations, b) influenced by psychotropic drugs, and c) functionally related to feeding behavior and sexual activity. These results recommend the view that it is worthwhile to understand, not necessarily the curious intracranial self-stimulation behavior itself, but the physiological function of the substrate revealed by the intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) technique. I have suggested that certain components of the brain stimulation reward system may function as a memory consolidation system. In view of the biological specificity of brain reinforcement pathways, I suggest the hypothesis that activity in the mesocortical dopaminergic brain stimulation reward pathways participates in the memory consolidation process. Consequent to activity in such anatomical systems, phosphorylation of band F in the frontal cortex is altered. Thus, intracranial self-stimulation pathways are considered to play a role in memory formation by providing a biochemical residual following learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2446-2453
Number of pages8
JournalFederation proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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