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Impact of brief or extended extinction of a taste aversion on inhibitory associations: evidence from summation, retardation, and preference tests.

Authors
  • Brooks, Douglas C
  • Bowker, Jonna L
  • Anderson, Jenise E
  • Palmatier, Matthew I
Type
Published Article
Journal
Learning & behavior
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2003
Volume
31
Issue
1
Pages
69–84
Identifiers
PMID: 18450070
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In five conditioned taste aversion experiments with rats, summation, retardation, and preference tests were used to assess the effects of extinguishing a conditioned saccharin aversion for three or nine trials. In Experiment 1, a summation test showed that saccharin aversion extinguished over nine trials reduced the aversion to a merely conditioned flavor (vinegar), whereas three saccharin extinction trials did not subsequently influence the vinegar aversion. Experiment 2 clarified that result, with unpaired controls equated on flavor exposure prior to testing; the results with those controls suggested that the flavor extinguished for nine trials produced generalization decrement during testing. In Experiment 3, the saccharin aversion reconditioned slowly after nine extinction trials, but not after three. Those results suggested the development of latent inhibition after more than three extinction trials. Preference tests comparing saccharin consumption with a concurrently available fluid (water in Experiment 4, saline in Experiment 5) showed that the preference for saccharin was greater after nine extinction trials than after three. However, saccharin preference after nine extinction trials was not greater, as compared with that for either latent inhibition controls (Experiments 4 and 5) or a control given equated exposures to saccharin and trained to drink saline at a high rate prior to testing (Experiment 5). Concerns about whether conditioned inhibition has been demonstrated in any flavor aversion procedure are discussed. Our findings help explain both successes and failures in demonstrating post-extinction conditioned response recovery effects reported in the conditioned taste aversion literature, and they can be explained using a memory interference account.

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