Control of Ingestion by Oral Habituation in Rat Pups

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The role of habituation of mouthing activity in the control of ingestion was investigated in 6-, 12-, and 18-day-old rat pups. In pups at all ages, oral habituation to a flavored diet inhibited ingestion of a continuous oral infusion of that same diet. Twelve-day-old pups that had orally habituated to a diet continued to consume less of a continuous oral infusion of that diet both 30 min and 3 hr later, and the duration of suppressed ingestion was shown to be dependent on the rate of stimulus presentation during habituation experience. These data suggest that oral habituation may be a diet-specific influence on both intra- and intermeal patterning.

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