The basolateral amygdala has a critical role in food-matched visual-cue memory and post-ingestion food preferences in rats

Mahnaz Zamyad, Mehdi Abbasnejad*, Saeed Esmaeili-Mahani, Vahid Sheibani, Maryam Raoof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Basolateral Amygdala (BLA) has been shown to have an important role in food-related learning behaviors. Using a novel approach, we have evaluated the role of BLA in food preference and Food memory related to visual cues in rats. Thirty-two adult male Wistar rats, weighing 200–250 g, were used for the experiments. Electric lesion of BLA was produced by passing 1.5 mA of current for 7 s. Food-related behaviors and preferences were evaluated by using an automated apparatus. Geometric visual cues were also constructed. Food-deprived rats were presented with different diets in 6 consecutive trial performances. The number of visits, time consumed on each food zone and port, distance traveled in each visit, and the total amount of food eaten was evaluated. The changes in hippocampal c-Fos expression were determined by immunoblotting. The control sham group showed a high and low preference for biscuit and white flour, respectively. BLA lesion rats exhibited a shifted preference curve. In the sham group, a more significant amount of food consumption was associated with an increased number of references to each zone and port, along with more time spent there. Furthermore, a decrease in hippocampal c-Fos expression was observed in the BLA-lesion animals. Taken together, the basolateral amygdala has a significant role in rats’ food-matched visual-cue memory and high-calorie/sweetness preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalIranian Journal of Veterinary Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran. The authors would also like to thank Mr. Baroaby Robinson who took burden of proofreading of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The author(s).


  • Basolateral amygdala
  • C-Fos
  • Food preferences
  • Learning and memory
  • Lesion
  • Rats
  • Visual-cue


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