Impulsive choice induced in rats by lesions of the nucleus accumbens core.
Impulsive choice is exemplified by choosing a small or poor reward that is available immediately, in preference to a larger but delayed reward. Impulsive choice contributes to drug addiction, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, mania, and personality disorders, but its neuroanatomical basis is unclear. Here, we show that selective lesions of the nucleus accumbens core induce persistent impulsive choice in rats. In contrast, damage to two of its afferents, the anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex, had no effect on this capacity. Thus, dysfunction of the nucleus accumbens core may be a key element in the neuropathology of impulsivity.