In four experiments, food deprivation was varied during conditioning and testing of conditioning of flavor preferences by sweeteners. Conditioned preferences for a flavor associated with a more concentrated solution were enhanced by increased deprivation in training whether sucrose or saccharin was used when rats consumed solutions freely during training. When consumption of solutions was controlled and higher deprivation levels were used, preference for the higher concentration of sucrose was still enhanced by increased deprivation in training, but this did not occur with saccharin. We suggest that deprivation may enhance the reinforcing value of sweetness only when calories increase along with sweetness. We also suggest that deprivation can enhance flavor preference learning by increasing consumption and thereby increasing exposure to the flavored solutions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Behavioral Neuroscience