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Physiol Behav. 2012 Jan 18;105(2):589-94. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.06.009. Epub 2011 Jun 16.

Pontine and thalamic influences on fluid rewards: II. Sucrose and corn oil conditioned aversions.

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  • 1Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences, College of Medicine, The Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.


In this study conditioned aversions were produced in sham feeding rats to limit postingestive feedback from the oral stimulus. All control rats learned an aversion to either 100% corn oil or 0.3 M sucrose when ingestion of these stimuli was followed by an injection of lithium chloride (LiCl). Rats with lesions of the ventroposteromedial thalamus also learned to avoid either corn oil or sucrose. After 3 trials, rats with damage to the parabrachial nuclei (PBN) learned to avoid 100% corn oil, but failed to do so when the stimulus was 0.3 M sucrose. These results support our hypothesis that the PBN is necessary to appropriately respond to a taste, but not an oil cue as a function of experience (i.e., pairings with LiCl). The results also are consistent with our results from operant tasks demonstrating that the trigeminal thalamus, the ventroposteromedial nucleus, is not required for responding to the rewarding properties of sucrose, oil, or for modifying the response to these stimuli as a function of experience.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

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