The basolateral amygdala mediates the effects of cues associated with meal interruption on feeding behavior

Ezequiel M. Galarce, Michael A. McDannald, Peter C. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Considerable evidence shows that environmental cues that signal food delivery when rats are food-deprived can substantially potentiate feeding later when rats are food-sated. Similarly, cues associated with meal interruption, food removal or impending food scarcity may also induce increased eating. For example, after learning the association between a discrete " interruption" stimulus and the unexpected termination of food trials, sated rats show enhanced food consumption when exposed to that stimulus. In Experiment 1, unlike sham-lesioned controls, rats with bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) failed to display such cue-potentiated feeding. In Experiment 2, potentiation of feeding by an interruption signal was found to be food-specific. That is, a stimulus that signaled interruption of trials with one food but not trials with a second food later only facilitated consumption of the first food. These studies extend our knowledge of the psychological and neural processes underlying cue-induced feeding. Understanding these mechanisms may contribute our understanding of the etiology and treatment of binge eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-122
Number of pages11
JournalBrain research
StatePublished - Sep 2 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Amygdala
  • Bingeing
  • Conditioning
  • Cue-potentiated feeding
  • Scarcity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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