Representation of the body in the lateral striatum of the freely moving rat: single neurons related to licking

T. Mittler, J. Cho, L. L. People, M. O. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This study examined the relationship of single-neuron activity (n = 739), recorded from the lateral striatum of freely moving rats, to oral movements involved in licking single drops of liquid. Certain neurons (n = 74) fired specifically in relation to licking. Their firing rates increased during licking, but remained near zero in the absence of licking, throughout a full sensorimotor examination of the remainder of the orofacial area and all other body parts. Another category of neurons (n = 17) fired during licking but also fired in the absence of licking, during one or more other orofacial sensorimotor function(s). Lick-related neurons were located in the lateral striatum, throughout the entire anterior-posterior range studied (from +1.5 to -1.5 mm anterior-posterior, A-P, bregma = 0). Summed over the full A-P range, they were located significantly ventral to representations of the trunk and limbs. These findings extend the characterization of the somatotopic organization exhibited by lateral striatal neurons in the rat, to include representation of oral functions, consistent with converging evidence regarding the functional organization of the striatum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-167
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1994


  • Electrophysiology
  • Licking
  • Oral behavior
  • Rat
  • Striatum


Dive into the research topics of 'Representation of the body in the lateral striatum of the freely moving rat: single neurons related to licking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this