The role of basal ganglia in reinforcement learning and imprinting in domestic chicks

E. I. Izawa, S. Yanagihara, T. Atsumi, T. Matsushima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of bilateral kainate lesions of telencephalic basal ganglia (lobus parolfactorius, LPO) were examined in domestic chicks. In the imprinting paradigm, where chicks learned to selectively approach a moving object without any explicitly associated reward, both the pre- and post-training lesions were without effects. On the other hand, in the water-reinforced pecking task, pre-training lesions of LPO severely impaired immediate reinforcement as well as formation of the association memory. However, post-training LPO lesions did not cause amnesia, and chicks selectively pecked at the reinforced color. The LPO could thus be involved specifically in the evaluation of present rewards and the instantaneous reinforcement of pecking, but not in the execution of selective behavior based on a memorized color cue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1743-1747
Number of pages5
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jun 13
Externally publishedYes


  • Caudate nucleus
  • Chemical lesion
  • Dopamine
  • Lobus parolfacotius
  • Memory
  • Passive avoidance task
  • Reward
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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