The neural basis for the association between taste and odor was investigated in the rat. First, behavioral procedures to study the mechanisms underlying the association between qualitative aspects of the odor and taste in rats were developed. Rats were presented with several pairings of the 0.3mol/L NaCl solution and a flavor, and pairings of distilled water and another flavor. Then the rats received an IP injection of a furosemide to develop sodium deficiency. On the next day, the rats were presented with either of two types of odor-flavored water: water in which the flavor had been paired with NaCl, or water in which the flavor (grape or coffee) had been paired with distilled water. Normal rats avoided ingesting the water flavored with the odor previously paired with NaCl. Sodium-deprived rats, however, ingested the water flavored with that odor. Rats with lesions in either the insular cortex or in the prefrontal cortex neither preferred nor avoided the water flavored with the odor paired with NaCl. It was concluded that rats acquire association between taste and odor, and that the insular and the prefrontal cortices of the rats were involved in this association.
- Insular cortex
- Prefrontal cortex