Latent inhibition is a form of negative priming in which repeated non-reinforced pre-exposures to a stimulus retard subsequent learning about the predictive significance of that stimulus. The nucleus accumbens shell and the anatomical projection it receives from the hippocampal formation have been attributed a pivotal role in the control or regulation of latent inhibition expression. A number of studies in rats have demonstrated the efficacy of selective shell lesions to disrupt latent inhibition in different associative learning paradigms, including conditioned active avoidance and conditioned emotional response. Here, we extended the test to the conditioned taste aversion paradigm, in which the effect of direct hippocampal damage on latent inhibition remains controversial. We demonstrated the expected effect of selective shell lesions on latent inhibition of conditioned emotional response and of conditioned active avoidance, before evaluating in a separate cohort of rats the effect of comparable selective lesions on latent inhibition of conditioned taste aversion: a null effect of the lesions was first obtained using parameters known to be sensitive to amphetamine treatment, then an enhancement of latent inhibition was revealed with a modified conditioned taste aversion procedure. Our results show that depending on the associative learning paradigm chosen, shell lesions can disrupt or enhance the expression of latent inhibition; and the pattern is reminiscent of that seen following hippocampal damage.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Jan 2006|
- Conditioned active avoidance
- Conditioned emotional response
- Ventral striatum
ASJC Scopus subject areas