Effects of the NMDA receptor antagonist ketamine on flavor memory: conditioned aversion, latent inhibition, and habituation of neophobia

Behav Neural Biol. 1994 May;61(3):271-81. doi: 10.1016/s0163-1047(05)80010-x.


In four experiments with rats, the effects of the NMDA antagonist ketamine on several forms of gustatory learning were studied. Replicating previous findings, in Experiment 1 ketamine was shown to impair one-trial acquisition of a flavor aversion at the dose of 25 mg/kg, but also produced a significant state-dependency effect. In Experiment 2 ketamine did not alter the process of habituation of neophobia to a new flavor. Abolition of latent inhibition by ketamine injected before preexposure in Experiment 3a was not replicated in Experiment 3b when ketamine was injected before all phases of the experiment. Finally, in Experiment 4 rats injected with ketamine showed slower acquisition of a flavor aversion with a multiple-trial procedure but finally reached a level similar to that shown by saline controls. The implications of these results for an interpretation of the effects of ketamine on flavor aversion learning in terms of interference with flavor memory storage are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Conditioning, Psychological
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic / drug effects*
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Ketamine / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • N-Methylaspartate / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / drug effects*
  • Taste / drug effects*


  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • Ketamine