Capsaicin-sensitive afferent vagal fibers are involved in concurrent taste aversion learning.

Neurobiology of learning and memory

PubMedID: 16931062

Zafra MA, Prados M, Molina F, Puerto A. Capsaicin-sensitive afferent vagal fibers are involved in concurrent taste aversion learning. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2006;86(3):349-52.
Taste aversion learning (TAL) is a type of learning characterized by rejection of a gustatory/flavor stimulus as a consequence of its pairing with visceral discomfort and malaise. TAL can be established in the laboratory by two different behavioral procedures, concurrent or sequential. Neural mechanisms of these learning modalities remain to be elucidated, but several studies have discussed the implication of various anatomical structures, including the vagus nerve. The aim of this study was to examine the role of capsaicin-sensitive vagal afferent fibers in concurrent (Experiment 1) and sequential (Experiment 2) TAL in Wistar rats. Results showed that perivagal administration of capsaicin (1mg of capsaicin dissolved in 1ml of vehicle (10% Tween 80 in oil)) blocked acquisition of concurrent but not sequential TAL. These data support the hypothesis of two different modalities of TAL mediated by distinct neurobiological systems, with vagal nerve participation only being essential in concurrent TAL.