Rats suppress intake of a normally preferred 0.15% saccharin conditioned stimulus (CS) when it is paired with an aversive agent like lithium chloride (LiCl) or a preferred substances such as sucrose or a drug of abuse. The reward comparison hypothesis suggests that rats avoid intake of a saccharin cue following pairings with a drug of abuse because the rats are anticipating the availability of the rewarding properties of the drug. The present study used bilateral ibotenic acid lesions to examine the role of the gustatory cortex in the suppression of CS intake induced by cocaine, morphine, and LiCl. The results show that bilateral lesions of the insular gustatory cortex (1) fully prevent the suppressive effects of both a 15 and a 30 mg/kg dose of morphine, (2) attenuate the suppressive effect of a 10 mg/kg dose of cocaine, but (3) are overridden by a 20 mg/kg dose of the drug. Finally, these same cortical lesions had no impact on LiCl-induced conditioned taste aversion. The current data show that the insular taste cortex plays an integral role in drug-induced avoidance of a gustatory CS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience