Preexposure and Extinction Effects of Lithium Chloride Induced Taste-Potentiated Aversions for Spatially Contiguous Auditory Food Cues in Rats

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Taste potentiated illness-induced aversions for noisy food were studied in Sprague-Dawley rats. The rats ate from receptacles containing salty food and a contiguous tone produced by speakers under the food followed by lithium chloride injections. In preference tests, the rats then avoided noisy food in favor of quiet food followed by extinction and spontaneous recovery of the auditory aversion over repeated nonreinforced trials. Other rats were given either 4 or 10 days of exposure to the noisy food prior to taste-toxicosis treatment. None of these rats subsequently avoided noisy food. The importance of spatial contiguity and methodological variation in associating nongustatory food cues with illness is discussed.

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