Cross-generalization profile to orosensory stimuli of rats conditioned to avoid a high fat/ high sugar diet

Yada Treesukosol, Timothy H. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The orosensory characteristics of a diet play a role in its acceptance and rejection. The current study was designed to investigate the gustatory components that contribute to the intake of a palatable, high-energy diet (HE; 45% calories from fat, 17% calories from sucrose). Here, rats were conditioned to avoid HE diet by pairings with i.p. injections of LiCl to induce visceral malaise. Subsequently, the degree of generalization was tested to an array of taste compounds using a brief-access lick procedure (10-s trials, 30-min sessions). Compared to NaCl-injected controls, LiCl-injected rats suppressed licking response to 100% linoleic acid and 20% intralipid, and to a lesser extent 17% sucrose. There was more variability in the lick responses to sucrose among the LiCl-injected rats. Rats that tended to suppress licking responses to sucrose generalized this response to glucose, fructose and Na-saccharin but not to Polycose. In contrast, LiCl-injected rats did not significantly suppress lick responses to water, NaCl, citric acid, or quinine compared to controls rats. The brief access feature of this procedure, allows for behavioral measures when postingestive factors are minimized. These findings support a role for gustatory cues in the detection of high fat/high sugar diets. Furthermore, it appears that the fat component is a more salient orosensory feature of the HE diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Senses
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 26 2018


  • Conditioning
  • Fat
  • High fat diet
  • Oral
  • Quality
  • Sweet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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