A new hypothesis (and supporting data) provides a solution to the 25- year-old paradox whereby positively reinforcing drugs of abuse also support a conditioned taste aversion (CTA). The results show that unlike LiCl-induced CTAs, morphine- and cocaine-induced suppression of conditioned stimulus (CS) intake depends on the rewarding properties of the gustatory CS. This finding argues the long-standing CTA interpretation in favor of a new reward comparison account. That is, rats decrease intake of a gustatory CS following taste-drug pairings because the value of the CS is outweighed by that of a highly reinforcing psychoactive drug. Suppression of CS intake, then, is a consequence of the well-documented positive reinforcing, rather than the hypothetical aversive, properties of drugs of abuse.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience