I think trying to understand how the inhibitory circuit intersects with the excitatory circuit is a terrific idea. What I understand from your discussion of the results is that the MeAmyg (possibly dfferent parts) has 2 functions in this context...one inhibitory, responding to novelty, etc..... and the other, excitatory and involved in the execution of mb, as in sniffing, licking, etc..all in response to chemosensor cues, one assumes...but that the vmh is purely inhibitory to the expression of the behavior. Your predictions then would be that with increasing experience with pups the pattern of c-fos expression in meamyg vs vmh would be different-with a decrease in vmh activation across time (as pups become less novel) but perhaps an increase in meAmyg (at least in excitatory portions) across time (as animals become maternal). Is this correct? Also, do you think the vmh normally exerts an inhibition over the mpoa in the virgin animal? By what circuitry, do you know? There's lots to think about. If you are there, let me know. I sent a message earlier that was somehow eliminated!!!
Wed Dec 9