Taste avoidance, but not aversion, learning in rats lacking gustatory cortex

Behav Neurosci. 1992 Feb;106(1):140-6. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.106.1.140.


Control rats rapidly learned to avoid drinking either a sucrose solution (Experiment 1) or a NaCl solution (Experiment 2) when the taste was paired with illness. These rats also produced aversive reactivity to each of these solutions in a taste reactivity test. Rats that lacked gustatory cortex (GC) learned to avoid drinking sucrose and NaCl, albeit at a slower rate than control rats. GC rats failed to display aversive reactivity to these tastes. The GC rats did show normal aversive reactivity to a strong quinine HCl solution during additional tests. It is suggested that the avoidance developed by GC rats did not entail a palatability shift of the conditional stimulus as it did in control rats. This altered learning strategy may account for the consistent learning deficits found in GC rats trained to avoid tastes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology*
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Chlorides / toxicity
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Drinking / physiology
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic / physiology
  • Lithium / toxicity
  • Lithium Chloride
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Rats
  • Taste / physiology*


  • Chlorides
  • Lithium
  • Lithium Chloride