Medial forebrain bundle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Medial forebrain bundle
Latin fasciculus medialis telencephali
MeSH Medial+Forebrain+Bundle
NeuroNames hier-416
NeuroLex ID Medial forebrain bundle
TA A14.1.08.955
FMA 62064
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The medial forebrain bundle (MFB), is a tract containing fibers from the basal olfactory regions, the periamygdaloid region and the septal nuclei, as well as fibers from brainstem regions, including the ventral tegmental area.


The MFB passes through the lateral hypothalamus. It contains both ascending and descending fibers. It also represents a part of the mesolimbic pathway, carrying information between the ventral tegmentum and the nucleus accumbens.


It is commonly accepted that the MFB is a part of the reward system, involved in the integration of reward and pleasure.[1]

Electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle is believed to cause sensations of pleasure. This hypothesis is based upon intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) studies. Animals will work for MFB ICSS, and humans report that MFB ICSS is intensely pleasurable.[2] It is possible that the medial forebrain bundle carries some of the input from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAcc or Acb). The NAcc is a recognized reward center, and activation of the pathway from the VTA to the NAcc is believed to be rewarding, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the hedonic highway.[3] The MFB also contains serotonergic and noradrenergic fibers.


  1. ^ Hernandez G, Hamdani S, Rajabi H et al. (August 2006). "Prolonged rewarding stimulation of the rat medial forebrain bundle: neurochemical and behavioral consequences". Behav. Neurosci. 120 (4): 888–904. doi:10.1037/0735-7044.120.4.888. PMID 16893295. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ The Owner's Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind-Brain Research, 3rd ed. 2006. Austin: Bard Press. ISBN 1-885167-64-4

External links[edit]