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

R. B M Duarte, E. Patrono, A. C. Borges, A. A S César, C. Tomaz, R. Ventura, A. Gasbarri, S. Puglisi-Allegra, M. Barros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 (50. g) 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-166
Number of pages4
JournalBehavioural Processes
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Medicine(all)


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