INTRODUCTION: Appetitive motivation systems evolved to mediate a wide array of adaptive behaviors aimed at providing resources such as food or social contacts. AIM(S): The question whether motivation to approach various types of reward involves different neuronal mechanisms is still largely unanswered. In particular, it is not known whether neuronal circuits controlling social motivation are uniquely social, i.e., do they apply only to the social domain and are not utilized by other non‑social motivational processes? METHOD(S): To address this question, we manipulated activity of the central amygdala (CeA) circuits activated during either instrumental conditioning for food reward or interaction with a partner. CeA has been implicated in generating intense incentive motivation for food and drugs. Using c‑fos-driven targeting with halorhodopsin and channelorhodopsin, we were able to inhibit or activate the respective neuronal subpopulations in the CeA during the Skinner box session, in which motivation was assessed in the progressive-ratio schedule of food-pellet reinforcement. To obtain food pellets rats, had to press the lever. The number of responses required to get reinforced increased when the reward was obtained. Motivation was measured as the highest number of responses performed to obtain the food reward. RESULTS: We observed that both inhibition and activation of either the social or food neuronal circuits in the CeA resulted in significantly decreased motivation for sucrose reward; however, the pattern of behavioral responses observed after manipulation of sucrose- and social‑related neuronal circuits was different. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that social and food motivation depends on circuitsthat overlap only partially.