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Evidence for inhibitory associations between the unique elements of two compound flavours

Dwyer, Dominic M. ORCID:, Bennett, C. H. and Mackintosh, N. J. 2001. Evidence for inhibitory associations between the unique elements of two compound flavours. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. B: Comparative and Physiological Psychology 54 (2) , pp. 97-107. 10.1080/713932748

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In each of two experiments, rats were pre-exposed to two flavoured solutions, saline-lemon and sucrose-lemon. For group ALT, trials with one solution alternated with trials with the other. Group BLK received all trials with one solution in a block, before any trials with the other. An associative theory suggests that the alternating, but not the blocked, schedule would establish an inhibitory association between sucrose and saline. To provide a retardation test of this inhibition, some animals in each group were then given a single pairing of saline and sucrose, experienced sodium depletion, and were finally tested for their consumption of sucrose. Sodium depletion increased consumption of sucrose more in group BLK than in group ALT. In groups given no saline-sucrose pairing, sodium depletion had only a small effect on sucrose consumption, which was the same in both groups. After multiple pairings of saline and sucrose, sodium depletion had an equally large effect on sucrose consumption in both ALT and BLK groups. These results imply that alternating pre-exposure to two compound solutions does establish an inhibitory association between their unique elements, and thus provide support for an associative theory of perceptual learning.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QP Physiology
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISSN: 0272-4995
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 13:26

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