Forebrain structures specifically activated by conditioned taste aversion

Behav Neurosci. 2006 Aug;120(4):952-62. doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.120.4.952.


This study investigates which forebrain structures show Fos protein expression during conditioned taste aversion (CTA) acquisition and whether Fos expression depends on the aversion strength. A novel taste paired with an intraperitoneal injection of a low dose of the malaise-inducing agent lithium chloride (LiCl) induced a weak CTA, whereas associating this novel taste with a high dose of LiCl induced a strong CTA. Increasing the strength of the gastric malaise alone enhanced Fos expression in central, basal, and lateral amygdala nuclei and decreased Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens core. Taste-malaise association induced specific Fos activation in the insular cortex (with both the low and the high doses of LiCl) and the nucleus accumbens shell (with the high LiCl dose only). No significant variation of Fos expression was measured in the perirhinal cortex. Several forebrain areas may be sites of taste-malaise convergence during CTA acquisition depending on the strength of the aversion.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Conditioning, Psychological*
  • Lithium Chloride / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Prosencephalon / anatomy & histology
  • Prosencephalon / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Saccharin / administration & dosage
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage
  • Taste*


  • Sweetening Agents
  • Saccharin
  • Lithium Chloride