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Forty-eight hour conditioning produces a robust long lasting flavor preference in rats

Kimbrough, Adam, Houpt, Thomas A.
Appetite 2019 v.139 pp. 159-163
cherries, flavor, glucose, grapes, learning, rats, saccharin
Conditioned flavor preference (CFP) learning is a form of associative learning in ingestive behavior. CFP Learning can be rapid and produces preferences of varying strengths that can be exceptionally persistent. We sought to establish a method to produce a robust long-lasting CFP in rats. Rats were given 48-h access (conditioning) to a CS+ flavor (grape or cherry 0.05% Kool-Aid, counterbalanced) mixed with 8% glucose and 0.05% saccharin. In order to determine the strength of conditioning rats were given 14 consecutive days of 24-h access to CS+ and CS- flavors mixed only with 0.05% Kool-Aid and 0.05% saccharin (extinction), then further tested 34 days after the last extinction test (48 days post conditioning) for 2 consecutive days with the CS+ and CS-. We found that not only did the learned CFP fail to extinguish over 14 days of testing, but it also persisted for at least 48 days after conditioning. These data provide a method to produce a robust, long lasting and persistent CFP for use in future ingestive behavior research.