Effect of taste preexposure on taste and odor aversions

Mark D. Holder*, Matthew Leon, Raz Yirmiya, John Garcia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Thirsty Sprague-Dawley rats drank flavored water in a wind tunnel prior to lithium-induced toxicosis. Flavors were presented for 5 min; 30 min later a toxin, lithium chloride, was injected. After the rats had recovered, subsequent aversions to the taste and the odor were assessed separately. In Experiment 1, extensive preexposure to the taste component of the flavor attenuated neophobia to the flavor and the subsequent taste aversion. However, the subsequent odor aversion was unaffected. Experiment 2 partially replicated the results of Experiment 1 and showed that, in a situation in which only taste-potentiated odor aversions are usually found, nonpotentiated aversions were evident. Experiment 3 found that, in addition to attenuating taste aversions, taste preexposure enhances the capacity of rats to learn nonpotentiated odor aversions. The results are interpreted with a neural-based model of conditioned flavor aversions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Learning and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1987
Externally publishedYes


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