Daniele Piomelli and fellow colleagues from the University of California at Irving trained a group of rats in two different tasks.
In one, they were trained to avoid an area that would produce a shock if they entered (inhibitory avoidance task). In the other task, the rats were trained to locate a dry platform surrounded by water (Morris water maze task).
The Piomelli team published their results in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (doi: 10.1073/pnas.0903038106). Its title is “Fat-induced satiety factor oleoylethanolamide enhances memory consolidation.”
Dr. Piomellit’s colleagues, from the University of Rome (Italy), University of California, (Irvine), and Inalian Institute of Technology (Genoa), are Patrizia Campolongo, Benno Roozendaal, Viviana Trezza, Vincenzo Cuomo, Giuseppe Astarita, Jin Fu, and James L. McGaugh.
In the history of animals, including humans, the ability to forage and find meals is especially apparent when they find fatty foods. Thus, the Piomelli team state in the abstract to their paper, “The ability to remember contexts associated with aversive and rewarding experiences provides a clear adaptive advantage to animals foraging in the wild.”
Consequently, the researchers wanted to find out if hormones released during eating might help the memory of animals with regards to functions of eating and foraging.
In the abstract, they state, “The present experiments investigated whether hormonal signals released during feeding might enhance memory of recently experienced contextual information.”
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