Neurophysiological Processing Related to Feeding in the Monkey

  • Edmund T. Rolls
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 56)


In this paper the different types of neural processing involved in motivational behavior will be considered. This processing involves, for feeding, the example of motivational behavior considered here, a number of different processes. These processes include first identification of which environmental stimuli are food, often with the assistance of prior learning. Second, modulation of neuronal responses by motivation occurs, so that for example some neurons respond to food only when the animal is hungry. This provides specificity to motivational behavior: when the animal is hungry, behavioral responses occur to food but not to water. Third, this processing must gain access to motor output mechanisms, so that behavioral responses such as feeding or drinking can be produced. Evidence that the neural control of feeding is organized in this way at least in higher vertebrates is provided below, and particular attention is paid to the operation of these neural controls in species as close to man as possible, macaque monkeys, to ensure that the results are as relevant to the controls of food intake and their abnormalities in man as possible.


Visual Stimulus Neuronal Response Orbitofrontal Cortex Visual Discrimination Lateral Hypothalamus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edmund T. Rolls
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental PsychologyOxford UniversityOxfordUK

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