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Effects of Medial Temporal Lesions on Taste Preference in the Monkey


MONKEYS with lesions in the medial portions of the anterior temporal lobes (the amygdala and pyriform cortex) tend to show marked changes in their responses to events that, pre-operatively, served as rewards or punishments. For example, it has been claimed that animals tend to be unafraid of snakes and strange people, to mount inanimate objects, to ingest a host of objects that were unacceptable pre-operatively. According to one descriptive generalization1 monkeys are still motivated by reward and punishment, but the classes of events that are rewarding or punishing alter. In order to examine this view more specifically and also to rule out the possibility that the changes in reward–punishment classification occur simply because of changes in sensory capacity, the following experiments were undertaken.

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  1. 1

    Weiskrantz, L., J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol., 49, 381 (1956).

  2. 2

    Weiskrantz, L., and Wilson, jun., Wm. A., J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol., 51, 167 (1958).

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