Long-term sensory memories are considered to be stored in the relevant cortical region subserving the given modality. We and others have recently identified a series of molecular alterations in the gustatory cortex (GC) of the rat at different time intervals following novel taste learning. Some of these correlative modifications were also necessary for taste memory acquisition and/or consolidation. However, very little is known about the localization of these molecular modifications within the GC or about the functional activation of the GC hours after novel taste learning. Here, we hypothesize that inhibitory interneurons are activated in the GC on a scale of hours following learning and used c-Fos expression and confocal microscopy with different markers to test this hypothesis. We found that GABAergic interneurons are activated in the GC in correlation with novel taste learning. The activation was evident in the deep but not superficial layers of the dysgranular insular cortex. These results suggest that the GABAergic machinery in the deep layers of the GC participates in the processing of taste information hours after learning, and provide evidence for the involvement of a local cortical circuit not only during acquisition of new information but also during off-line processing and consolidation of taste information.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by an ISF grant for KR.
- Inhibitory interneuron
- Insular cortex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience