Anhedonia following mild traumatic brain injury in rats: A behavioral economic analysis of positive and negative reinforcement

Pelin Avcu, Ashley M. Fortress, Jennifer E. Fragale, Kevin M. Spiegler, Kevin C.H. Pang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Psychiatric disorders affect nearly 50% of individuals who have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Anhedonia is a major symptom of numerous psychiatric disorders and is a diagnostic criterion for depression. It has recently been appreciated that reinforcement may be separated into consummatory (hedonic), motivational and decisional components, all of which may be affected differently in disease. Although anhedonia is typically assessed using positive reinforcement, the importance of stress in psychopathology suggests the study of negative reinforcement (removal or avoidance of aversive events)may be equally important. The present study investigated positive and negative reinforcement following a rat model of mild TBI (mTBI)using lateral fluid percussion. Hedonic value and motivation for reinforcement was determined by behavioral economic analyses. Following mTBI, the hedonic value of avoiding foot shock was reduced. In contrast, the hedonic value of escaping foot shock or obtaining a sucrose pellet was not altered by mTBI. Moreover, motivation to avoid or escape foot shock or to acquire sucrose was not altered by mTBI. Our results suggest that individuals experiencing mTBI find avoidance of aversive events less reinforcing, and therefore are less apt to utilize proactive control of stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111913
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
StatePublished - Aug 5 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • Concussion
  • Depression
  • Hedonic value
  • Lateral fluid percussion
  • Motivation


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