Second-order (environmental) conditioning of a taste aversion in rats

D. V. Gauvin, C. A. Sannerud, F. A. Holloway

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4 Scopus citations


Four groups of rats (n=10/group) were conditioned in a taste aversion task using a second-order reinforcer associated with precipitated morphine withdrawal. Rats in CS+, CS- and CS(random) groups were exposed to a chronic morphine (morphine sulfate, MS) dosing regimen. A control group received equivalent volumes of saline. All rats then received daily i.p. injections of naloxone HCl (1.0-3.2 mg/kg), inducing precipitated morphine withdrawal in group-dependent unique environments. The 4-h withdrawal trials were terminated by a 20 mg/kg MS injection (MS treatment groups only) and returned to their home cage. After a 1-week wash-out was imposed, all subjects were exposed to a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) task using environmental stimuli (CS1) from Phase 1 paired with saccharin (CS2) in a second-order conditioning procedure. The CS+ group developed a significant CTA; the CS- and CS(random) groups increased their consumption of saccharin. The saline group was unaffected by the treatment conditions. The data demonstrate the salience and importance of environmental stimuli and suggest a role for such conditioning in drug relapse phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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