Nucleus accumbens and impulsivity

BAŞAR K., Sesia T., Groenewegen H., Steinbusch H. W. M., Visser-Vandewalle V., Temel Y.

PROGRESS IN NEUROBIOLOGY, vol.92, no.4, pp.533-557, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 92 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2010.08.007
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.533-557
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The multifaceted concept of impulsivity implies that different impulsivity aspects mediated by different neural processes influence behavior at different levels The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a key component of the neural processes regulating impulsivity In this review we discuss the findings of lesion studies in animals and functional imaging studies in humans focusing on the role of the NAc in impulsivity Evidence supports that the extent and pattern of involvement of the NAc and its subregions the core and the shell vary among different facets of impulsivity Data from imaging studies reviewed in this article suggest the Involvement of the ventral striatum/NAc in impulsive choice Findings of animal studies indicate that lesions of the NAc core subregion facilitated impulsivity in tasks involving intertemporal choice and promoted a risk-averse less impulsive tendency in tasks involving options with probability differences Modification of neurotransmitter activity especially of dopamine which is proposed to underlie the changes observed in functional imaging studies has been shown to influence afferent input pattern in the NAc and the generation of the behavioral output Parameters of behavioral tasks reflecting response inhibition function are altered by neurochemical interventions and local electrical stimulation in both the core and the shell subregions In toto NAc s pattern of neuronal activity either genetically determined or acquired has a critical impact on the interindividual variation in the expression of impulsivity Nevertheless the NAc is not the only substrate responsible for impulsivity and it is not involved in each facet of impulsivity to the same extent (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved