Flavor-illness aversions: the role of the amygdala in the acquisition of taste-potentiated odor aversions

Physiol Behav. 1986 Oct;38(4):503-8. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(86)90417-8.


In the present experiments the role of the amygdaloid complex and its specific nuclei were tested in the conditioning of taste potentiated odor aversions. In the first experiment two groups of rats were given either large electrolytic lesions in the amygdala (AMX) or sham operations (SH). Postoperatively, these rats were trained to avoid either a taste, an odor, or a taste-odor compound using LiCl illness. Subsequent tests with odor and taste alone showed that the SH group developed strong taste and odor aversions; however, the AMX group failed to display either an odor or taste aversion. In the second experiment, another four groups of rats received either lesions in the medial and basomedial nuclei (M), central nuclei (C), lateral and basolateral (L), or sham operations (SH). The results from postoperative conditioning showed that all groups had strong taste and odor aversions, except group L which displayed a significant disruption of odor aversion learning. In conclusion, these data indicate that the amygdala is involved in the acquisition of taste, odor and potentiated odor aversions learning. Moreover, it is demonstrated that the lateral and/or basolateral nuclei are particularly involved in the development of potentiated odor aversions learning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / drug effects
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Male
  • Odorants*
  • Procaine / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Taste / physiology*


  • Procaine