Consumption of a highly palatable food induces a lasting place-conditioning memory in marmoset monkeys (2014)

Behav Processes. 2014 Sep;107:163-6. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.08.021.

Duarte RB1, Patrono E2, Borges AC3, César AA1, Tomaz C1, Ventura R4, Gasbarri A2, Puglisi-Allegra S4, Barros M5.

PMID: 25175712

DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.08.021


Highly palatible foods may induce addiction-related behaviors. However, this has yet to be established in non-human primates. Therefore, we evaluated whether marmoset monkeys (Calllithrix penicillata) acquire a conditioned-place-preference (CPP) for chocolate and if this response is detectable after a 24-h and 15-day period. Subjects were first habituated to a two-compartment CPP box and then randomly assigned to a chocolate or control group. Thereafter, they were given access to only one compartment during daily 15-min conditionings, held on six consecutive days. On each trial, the chocolate group received pieces of chocolate (50g) in this context, whereas controls were not given a food reward. Marmosets were subsequently tested for preferring this (food) paired context after a 24-h and 15-day interval. During conditioning, individual foraging and the amount of chocolate ingested by each pair of the chocolate group remained constant. However, compared to pre-CPP levels, the time spent inside/in contact with the conditioned compartment increased significantly, while the latency to first entry decreased on both post-CPP intervals. For controls, the parameters remained unaltered. Thus, chocolate induced a persistent CPP response-an aspect usually associated with drug-related rewards.


Chocolate; Food reward; Long-term memory; Marmoset; Place-conditioning