Gustatory insular cortex, aversive taste memory and taste neophobia
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Prior research indicates a role for the gustatory insular cortex (GC) in taste neophobia. Rats with lesions of the GC show much weaker avoidance to a novel and potentially dangerous taste than do neurologically intact animals. The current study used the retention of conditioned taste aversion (CTA) as a tool to determine whether the GC modulates neophobia by processing taste novelty or taste danger. The results show that GC lesions attenuate CTA retention (Experiment 1) and impair taste neophobia (Experiment 2). Given that normal CTA retention does not involve the processing of taste novelty, the pattern of results suggests that the GC is involved in taste neophobia via its function in processing the danger conveyed by a taste stimulus.
SubjectConditioned taste aversion
Gustatory insular cortex