The effect of a high (chocolate) versus low fat/sugar (chow) food on a conditioned-place-preference (CPP) task was evaluated in marmoset monkeys. Anxiety-related behaviors and cortisol levels before and after the CPP task were also measured. Subjects were habituated to a two-compartment CPP box and then, on alternate days, had access to only one compartment during daily 15-min conditionings, for a total of 14 trials. Marmosets were provisioned with chocolate chips in the CC-paired compartment on odd-numbered trials and standard chow in the CW-paired compartment on even-numbered trials. They were then tested for preferring the CC-paired context after a 24-h interval. During the conditioning, a significantly greater amount (in kcal/trial) of chocolate was consumed than chow, yet the foraging pattern of both food types was similar. On the test trial, the time spent in the CC-paired context increased significantly compared to pre-CPP levels, yet this response was not readily predicted by baseline behavioral or cortisol levels. Also, the chocolate CPP response was positively correlated with foraging time, rather than the amount of calories consumed. The sudden absence of the food increased exploration, while the chocolate CPP effect was associated with vigilance - both anxiety-related behaviors in marmosets. This behavioral profile occurred regardless of any concomitant change or correlation with cortisol. Therefore, the high fat/sugar food was more prone to be overly consumed by the marmosets, to induce a CPP response and to lead to anxiety-related behavior in its absence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology