In five experiments, rats' preference for a flavor was greater if the flavor had previously been consumed under low rather than high deprivation. This preference was conditioned in as few as three flavor-deprivation pairings (Experiment 1), and persisted through 28 test days, half under each deprivation level (Experiment 2). Rats never preferred the flavor associated with high deprivation even when calories were increased by giving 40 ml of 8% sucrose or when caloric density was increased to the equivalent of 20% sucrose. The preference for the low-deprivation flavor was greater when saccharin solutions were used rather than sucrose solutions, but the preference did emerge when sucrose solutions were used as testing proceeded and when a lower concentration of sucrose was used. We suggest that these preferences may be a result of flavor-taste associations rather than associations between flavors and postingestive consequences, and that the taste of the solutions under low deprivation is preferred to the taste under high deprivation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Behavioral Neuroscience