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Behav Neurosci. 2001 Aug;115(4):920-33.

Parabrachial nucleus lesions block taste and attenuate flavor preference and aversion conditioning in rats.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College and The Graduate School, City University of New York, 11210-2889, USA.


Rats with ibotenic acid lesions of the parabrachial nucleus (PBN) failed to learn a taste aversion induced by lithium chloride (LiCl) toxicosis. The same rats also did not learn to prefer a taste that was paired with intragastric (IG) carbohydrate infusions during 22 hr/day trials. The PBN-lesioned rats did learn to prefer a flavor (odor + taste) paired with the IG carbohydrate infusions over a different flavor paired with IG water. The PBN-lesioned rats also learned to avoid a flavor paired with IG LiCl infusions during 22 hr/day trials. The flavor preference and aversion, however, were less pronounced than those displayed by control rats. These data indicate that the PBN is essential for forming orosensory-viscerosensory associations when taste is the primary cue but is less critical when more complex flavor cues are available.

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