Master of Science
Rats, which are a non-emetic species, display conditioned disgust responses when re-exposed to a context previously associated with sickness. These conditioned disgust responses can be used to model anticipatory nausea in humans, a growing problem faced by numerous chemotherapy patients. This thesis found that social factors, in addition to contextual factors, can play a role in the expression of toxin (LiCl)-induced conditioned disgust in rats. The results show that a familiar, but not unfamiliar, social partner can serve as a cue for the display of conditioned gaping. Further, a variety of sensory cues may play a role in the development of socially-mediated conditioned disgust, as an odour cue (urine) alone was incapable of causing significant conditioned disgust. It was also found that socially-mediated conditioned disgust can be modulated by oxytocin, as an oxytocin receptor antagonist, L-368,899, significantly decreased the display of conditioned gaping. Therefore, these findings suggest that social factors can lead to the development and expression of toxin-elicited conditioned disgust responses in rats. This has implications for chemotherapy patients, as the development and expression of anticipatory nausea may also be impacted by social factors.
Boulet, Nathalie, "Social Factors Modulate Toxin (LICL)-Induced Conditioned Disgust Responses in Male Rats" (2016). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 4052.