In: Learning and Motivation
Abstract: In the current study, groups of mice were trained with either short (20 s) or long (120 s) conditioned stimulus (CS) durations associated with different rates of sucrose unconditioned stimulus (US) delivery, to examine whether different behavioral forms of cue-potentiated feeding in sated mice would be evoked. In training mice received presentations of an auditory CS for 20 s during which a sucrose US was delivered at a density of 1/9 s (Group-20-s). A second group of mice received an auditory CS for 120 s and a US density of 1/49 s (Group-120-s). During training, a shorter CS duration and higher rate of US delivery resulted in greater acquisition of food cup responding, and during the test stage Group-20-s mice also displayed higher CS evoked lick rates, though all mice showed cue-potentiated feeding. An analysis of licking microstructure also revealed that Group-120-s mice displayed CS evoked licking behavior that reflected an increase in the perceived palatability of the sucrose US. These findings are discussed with respect to the influence of CS interval and US density on associatively activated sensory and affective representations of a US, and contrast mediated effects resulting from presentation of excitatory and inhibitory conditioned stimuli.