Conditioned Taste Aversion and Amygdala Lesions in the Rat: a Critical Review

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Amygdala, Animals, Avoidance Learning, Behavior, Animal, Conditioning, Classical, Neural Pathways, Rats, Taste

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Studies using permanent lesions implicate the amygdala, a recipient of gustatory and viscerosensory information, in taste aversion learning. Reviewing this literature with respect to the location of the lesions and the quality of the behavioral methodology reveals little, if any, involvement of the medial amygdala or central nucleus in conditioned taste aversion. Although a disruption is found following damage to the basolateral region, the attenuated conditioned taste aversion appears to be a consequence of a lesion-induced impairment of neophobia rather than an association formation deficit. The key to understanding the functional significance of the basolateral amygdala in conditioned taste aversion reduces, we believe, to determining the role of this structure in gustatory neophobia.

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Neuroscience & biobehavioral reviews, v. 29, no. 7, p. 1067-1088