Acetylcholine in the orbitofrontal cortex is necessary for the acquisition of a socially transmitted food preference

Date Published:

2005 May-Jun


The social transmission of food preference task (STFP) has been used to examine the involvement of the hippocampus in learning and memory for a natural odor-odor association. However, cortical involvement in STFP has not been extensively studied. The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is important in odor-guided learning, and cholinergic depletion of the entire neocortex results in impairments in STFP. Here we examined the specific role of cholinergic modulation in the OFC by assessing the effect of 192 immunoglobulin G-saporin infusion directly into OFC prior to training on STFP. Cholinergic depletion in the OFC impaired expression of the socially transmitted odor association measured 2 d after training, indicating that cholinergic function in the OFC is essential for this form of associative learning.