An assessment of the reinforcing properties of foods after amygdaloid lesions in rhesus monkeys.
Aggleton JP., Passingham RE.
The reinforcing strengths of foods were assessed in rhesus monkeys before and after bilateral radio-frequency lesions of the lateral amygdala (n = 4), basolateral amygdala (n = 4), and total amygdala (n = 3). None of these lesions altered preoperative preferences between three highly palatable foods. Moreover, the lesions had no discernible effect on the animals' responses to different food rewards as measured by a progressive ratio schedule, although performance on this schedule proved sensitive to the size and type of food reward and to the degree of deprivation. The results suggest that amygdalectomy leaves a normal appreciation of at least this one class of rewards, foods. The dietary changes typically seen after amygdalectomy, such as meat eating, which were also observed in the same animals, probably reflect a loss of neophobia.