Incentive learning is the process via which animals update changes in the value of rewards. Current evidence suggests that, for food rewards in rats, this learning process involves the amygdala. However, it remains unclear whether this learning undergoes protein synthesis-dependent consolidation and "reconsolidation" processes in the lateral and basal nuclei of amygdala. Accordingly, we examined this hypothesis by local infusion of protein-synthesis inhibitor after devaluation of a food reward induced by a shift from a food-deprived to a food-sated state in an instrumental conditioning paradigm. Our results show that intra-amygdala infusions of anisomycin, whether given after the initial devaluation or after a second devaluation session, abolished the changes in the value of the food reward produced by incentive learning. This study provides direct evidence that instrumental incentive learning depends on protein synthesis within the amygdala for both consolidation and reconsolidation and extends the demonstrations of protein synthesis-dependent reconsolidation to reward-related memories.
- Conditioning, Operant/physiology
- Nerve Tissue Proteins/biosynthesis
- Protein Synthesis Inhibitors/pharmacology
- Rats, Long-Evans