Conditioned Flavor Aversions: Assessment of Drug‐Induced Suppression of Food Intake

Anthony L. Riley1, Kevin B. Freeman1

1 The American University, Washington
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Unit Number:  Unit 8.6E
DOI:  10.1002/0471142301.ns0806es29
Online Posting Date:  November, 2004
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Administration of a drug following ingestion of a novel food or solution often suppresses subsequent intake of the new food or solution. This suppression is associative, in that consumption is not suppressed when there is no temporal relationship between consumption and drug administration. The robust nature of aversion learning has made this procedure a sensitive and widely used behavioral index of drug side effects. The procedures described in this unit are suitable for work with rodents, and may require modifications, e.g., in presentation of the ingesta and drug for other species. Familiar and novel foods may be used instead of solutions, with similar results.

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Table of Contents

  • Reagents and Solutions
  • Commentary
  • Literature Cited
  • Figures
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Basic Protocol 1:

  • Rats (6 to 10 animals per group), individually housed (see unit 8.6)
  • Tastant solution (e.g., 0.1% sodium saccharin; see recipe)
  • Drug solution (e.g., lithium chloride; see recipe)
  • Drug vehicle for control injections (usually sterile H 2O)
  • Top‐loading balance
  • 50‐ to 100‐ml calibrated glass or plastic drinking tubes (or noncalibrated water bottles with flat bottoms for weighing)
  • Rubber stoppers (size dependent on drinking tubes)
  • Stainless steel sipper tubes bent at 45° angle
  • Stopwatch
  • Disposable syringes and 23‐ to 25‐G needles for injection of drugs or gavage needles for oral administration
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Literature Cited

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Key References
   Garcia and Ervin, 1968;
  These three articles are major and seminal reviews of the conditioned taste aversion literature. These papers introduce taste aversion learning, both the basic phenomenon and the major parameters under which aversions are displayed. The differences between taste aversions and more traditional forms of learning as well as the basis for and the implications of these differences are discussed.
   Revusky and Garcia, 1970;
  These reviews provide an analysis of taste aversion learning in the context of traditional learning, focusing both on parameters of aversion learning and its theoretical fit with associative learning.
   Rozin and Kalat 1971. See above.
  These four books are collections of original manuscripts on a variety of topics in taste aversion learning. The first two books focus primarily on the parameters involved in such conditioning and their implications for traditional laws of learning. The third book, while including some similar analyses, also provides more discussion on the mechanisms underlying aversions as well as their clinical applications. The final book provides an overview on the physiological bases of aversion learning.
   Spiker, V.A. 1977. Taste aversion: A procedural analysis and an alternative paradigmatic classification. Psych. Rec. 27:753‐769.
   Logue 1979;
  Klosterhalfen and Klosterhalfen 1985. See above.
   Barker, L.M., Best, M.R. and Domjan, M. (eds.) 1977. Learning Mechanisms in Food Selection. Baylor University Press, Waco, Tex.
   Milgram, N.W., Krames, L., and Alloway, T.M. (eds.). 1977. Food Aversion Learning. Plenum, New York.
   Braveman and Bronstein, 1985. See above.
   Bures et al., 1998. See above.
Internet Resources
  In 1976, the first of three bibliographies on conditioned taste aversion learning was published. In this initial publication (Riley and Baril, ), over 400 papers in the field were listed and annotated. Subsequent publications (Riley and Clarke, ; Riley and Tuck, ) listed 632 and 1373 papers, respectively. Since that time, the authors have maintained a bibliography on taste aversion learning utilizing a variety of journal and online searches as well as generous contributions of information from many colleagues. To date, there are nearly 3000 papers on conditioned taste aversion learning. This database lists these papers and provides a mechanism for searching the articles. Specifically, it was constructed to provide the reader access to articles via a variety of search terms, including Author(s), Key Words, Date, Article Title, and Journal. Single or multiple items can be searched within any specific category or combination of categories.
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