Attenuation and Cross-Attenuation in Taste Aversion Learning in the Rat: Studies with Ionizing Radiation, Lithium Chloride and Ethanol
ARMED FORCES RADIOBIOLOGY RESEARCH INST BETHESDA MD
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The preexposure paradigm was utilized to evaluate the similarity of ionizing radiation, lithium chloride and ethanol as unconditioned stimuli for the acquisition of a conditioned taste aversion. Three unpaired pre-exposures to lithium chloride blocked the acquisition of a taste aversion when a novel sucrose solution was paired with either the injection of the same dose of lithium chloride or exposure to ionizing radiation 100 rad. Similar pretreatment with radiation blocked the acquisition of a radiation-induced aversion, but had no effect on taste aversions produced by lithium aversion, but not radiation- or lithium chloride-induced aversions. In contrast, preexposure to either radiation or lithium chloride attenuated an ethanol-induced taste aversion in intact rats, but not in rats with lesions of the area postrema. The results are discussed in terms of relationships between these three unconditioned stimuli and in terms of implications of these results for understanding the nature of the proximal unconditioned stimulus in taste aversion learning. Keywords Conditioned taste aversion Attenuation Cross-attenuation Ionizing radiation Lithium chloride Ethanol Area postrema Reprints.