Frontal lesions do not alter the differential extinction of taste aversion conditioning in rats, when using two methods of sucrose delivery

Nadine Fresquet, Jun Yamamoto, Guy Sandner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The frontal cortex is involved in the planning of behavioural responses and in the processing of their outcomes. Thus it contributes to several learning mechanisms, including those of conditioned taste aversion (CTA). A solution of sucrose drunk freely by a rat from a drinking tube - self-drinking protocol (SD) - was used as a conditioned stimulus in CTA. The intake of this solution was followed by gastric malaise. It produced an aversion to sucrose that withstood extinction over a week of repetitive tests. But, when the sucrose was perfused intra-orally (IO), i.e. not depending on any specific action by the rat, the extinction of aversion was much faster. Several factors may explain this differential extinction including the contribution of contextual factors linked to the achievement of an action and/or the enhancement of the attention towards the outcome of the action (the taste). The processing of such factors is usually believed to require the prefrontal cortex or the cingulate cortex (CgC). In our first experiment, the frontal cortex was totally transected. In the second experiment, the CgC was removed by aspiration. None of these lesions elicited any change in CTA, either in IO or in SD conditions, meaning that the differential extinction remained. The surprising absence of a frontal lesion effect was thought to indicate the low attentional demand required in both CTA protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 17 2003



  • Attention
  • Cingulate cortex
  • Conditioned taste aversion
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Schizophrenia
  • Self-initiated action

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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