Ibotenic acid lesions of the basolateral, but not the central, amygdala interfere with conditioned taste aversion: evidence from a combined behavioral and anatomical tract-tracing investigation

Behav Neurosci. 1999 Apr;113(2):291-302. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.113.2.291.


Rats (Rattus norvegicus) with almost complete ibotenic acid lesions (at least 90%) of the basolateral amygdaloid complex (BLA) failed to learn a conditioned taste aversion (CTA; Experiment 1A). In these same BLA rats, the bidirectional parabrachial-insular pathway that courses through the central nucleus of the amygdala (Ce) was shown to be spared (Experiment 1B), indicating that the BLA per se is critical for CTA learning. In contrast to the deleterious effect of BLA lesions on CTA, ibotenic acid lesions of the Ce did not block CTA learning (Experiment 2). Nonreinforced preexposure to the gustatory stimulus attenuated CTA acquisition in normal rats, and, under these conditions, rats with BLA lesions were no longer impaired (Experiment 3). Thus, ibotenic acid lesions centered over the Ce, sparing a considerable extent of the BLA, together with the testing procedure used in previous experiments (e.g., L. T. Dunn & B. J. Everitt, 1988), led to the belief that the CTA deficits reported after electrolytic lesions of the amygdala were the result of incidental damage to fibers of passage.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / injuries
  • Amygdala / pathology*
  • Amygdala / physiopathology*
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Brain Injuries / chemically induced*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Conditioning, Classical
  • Ibotenic Acid
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Taste / physiology*


  • Ibotenic Acid