The effects of amygdala and cortical inactivation on taste neophobia

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Abstract

The current study examined the effects of transient inactivation of the basolateral amygdala (BLA; Experiment 1) and gustatory cortex (GC; Experiment 2) on the expression of taste neophobia and its recovery. We found that inactivation (induced by infusions of baclofen/muscimol) of each structure before exposure to a novel saccharin (0.5%) solution elevated intake on Trial 1 (i.e., taste neophobia was attenuated) and, surprisingly, decreased intake on Trial 2. It seems unlikely that this intake reduction on Trial 2 can be attributed to taste aversion learning caused by drug infusions because in the subsequent experiments with the same set of the implanted animals, the rats did not decrease intake when baclofen/muscimol was infused after taste presentation on Trial 1. The latter result suggests that BLA or GC inactivation that attenuates taste neophobia may also impair memory consolidation of a safe taste experience.

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