Effects of Inflation on Taste-Potentiaton of Taste Aversion
Wakefield, Elizabeth M.
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In 3 experiments with rat subjects, a taste-taste compound composed of saccharin and denatonium saccharide (SAC+DEN) previously shown to support taste-potentiated taste aversion (TPTA) was used to test the predictions of the within-compound association model. Additionally, the effects of inflation of the individual elements within a taste-taste compound on aversion strength to the complementary element were investigated. Specifically, Experiment 1 was conducted to establish whether a longer CS-US interval than used in previous studies and a weaker LiCl concentration are sufficient for producing TPTA. Experiments 2 and 3 used complementary designs to investigate the inflation of DEN and SAC, respectively, on aversion strength of the complementary element after SAC+ DEN compound conditioning. It was predicted that inflation of DEN would cause an increased aversion to SAC, whereas SAC inflation would overshadow an aversion to DEN. Results indicated that the addition of a second conditioning trial has an effect on TPTA. Additionally, contradictory results were found in Experiments 2 and 3 with regard to the role of inflation in aversion learning. In Experiment 2, inflation of DEN after compound conditioning with SAC+DEN increased SAC aversion relative to a control group, indicating that inflation helps strengthen aversions in compounds. However, in Experiment 3, inflation of SAC after compound conditioning with SAC+DEN did not significantly effect the aversion to.DEN relative to a control group. These results are discussed in terms of the differences between the present study and previous research that may have caused the unexpected findings, and in terms of the different theories that may explain TPTA.