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Eur J Neurosci. 2010 Sep;32(6):1018-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07365.x. Epub 2010 Aug 16.

Differential participation of temporal structures in the consolidation and reconsolidation of taste aversion extinction.

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División de Neurociencias, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, A.P. 70-253, México D.F. 04510, México.


The extinction process has been described as the decline in the frequency or intensity of the conditioned response following the withdrawal of reinforcement. Hence, experimental extinction does not reflect loss of the original memory, but rather reflects new learning, which in turn requires consolidation in order to be maintained in the long term. During extinction of conditioned taste aversion (CTA), a taste previously associated with aversive consequences acquires a safe status through continuous presentations of the flavor with no aversive consequence. In addition, reconsolidation has been defined as the labile state of a consolidated memory after its reactivation by the presentation of relevant information. In this study, we analyzed structures from the temporal lobe that could be involved in consolidation and reconsolidation of extinction of CTA by means of new protein synthesis. Our results showed that protein synthesis in the hippocampus (HC), the perirhinal cortex (PR) and the insular cortex (IC) of rats participate in extinction consolidation, whereas the basolateral amygdala plays no part in this phenomenon. Furthermore, we found that inhibition of protein synthesis in the IC in a third extinction trial had an effect on reconsolidation of extinction. The participation of the HC in taste memory has been described as a downmodulator for CTA consolidation, and has been related to a context-taste association. Altogether, these data suggest that extinction of aversive taste memories are subserved by the IC, HC and PR, and that extinction can undergo reconsolidation, a process depending only on the IC.

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