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Behav Neurosci. 1995 Oct;109(5):939-54.

Gustatory detection thresholds after parabrachial nuclei lesions in rats.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611-2250, USA.


Rats with either electrolytic (Experiment 1) or excitotoxic lesions (Experiment 2) that had been electrophysiologically centered in the gustatory zone of the parabrachial nuclei (PBN) were tested for sucrose and NaCl taste detection thresholds in a conditioned avoidance task. With 1 exception, all of these rats had previously shown severe deficits in acquiring an LiCl-based conditioned taste aversion (CTA) to sucrose, NaCl, or alanine. The rats with excitotoxic lesions also had failed to express a depletion-induced sodium appetite. Despite the uniformity of these deficits, the rats with lesions exhibited varied performance in the detectability task. Roughly 1/3 of the rats did not perform competently, 1/3 had elevated thresholds, and 1/3 showed no or only marginal impairments in taste detectability. These findings demonstrate that the elimination of CTA following PBN lesions is not necessarily linked to an impairment in taste signal detection. Thus, PBN-induced deficits on 1 taste-related task do not entirely correspond with impairments on another.

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