The attenuation of an LiCl-induced conditioned taste aversion (CTA) by LiCl preexposure is mediated primarily by associative blocking via injection-related cues. Given that preexposure to morphine attenuates morphine-induced CTAs, it was of interest to determine whether injection cues also mediate this effect. Certain morphine-induced behaviors such as analgesic tolerance are controlled associatively, via injection-related cues. Accordingly, animals in the present experiments were preexposed to morphine (or vehicle) every other day for five total exposures, followed by an extinction phase, in which the subjects were given saline injections (or no treatment) for 8 (Experiment 1) or 16 (Experiment 2) consecutive days. All of the animals then received five CTA trials with morphine (or vehicle). The morphine-preexposed animals in Experiment 1 displayed an attenuation of the morphine CTA that was unaffected by extinction saline injections, suggesting that blocking by injection cues during morphine preexposure does not mediate this effect. All of the morphine-preexposed subjects in Experiment 2 displayed a weakened preexposure effect, an effect inconsistent with a selective extinction of drug-associated stimuli. The attenuating effects of morphine preexposure in aversion learning are most likely controlled by nonassociative mechanisms, like drug tolerance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience