Rodents exhibit neophobia for novel tastes, demonstrated by an initial reluctance to drink novel-tasting, potentially-aversive solutions. Taste neophobia attenuates across days if the solution is not aversive, demonstrated by increased consumption as the solution becomes familiar. This attenuation of taste neophobia is context dependent, which has been demonstrated by maintained reluctance to drink the novel tasting solution if the subject has to drink it after being brought to a novel environment. This spatial context-dependent attenuation of taste neophobia has been described and likely depends on the integrity of the dorsal hippocampus because this brain area is crucial for representing space and spatial context associations, but is unnecessary for processing taste memories per se. Whether changing the non-spatial auditory context causes a similar effect on attenuation of taste neophobia and the potential role of the dorsal hippocampus in processing this decidedly non-spatial information has not been determined. Here we demonstrate that changing the non-spatial auditory context affects the attenuation of taste neophobia in mice, and investigate the consequence of hippocampal lesion. The results demonstrate that the non-spatial auditory context-dependent attenuation of taste neophobia in mice is lost following NMDA excitotoxic lesions of the CA1 region of the dorsal hippocampus. These findings demonstrate that the dorsal hippocampus is crucial for the modulation non-associative taste learning by auditory context, neither of which provide information about space.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience