Learned suppression of ingestion: Role of discriminative stimuli, ingestive responses, and aversive tastes

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Abstract

Three experiments with domestic chicks demonstrated that animals learn to suppress contact with aversive-tasting foods and fluids and investigated the behavioral mechanisms of this learning. In Exp I, 14 Ss rapidly learned to suppress drinking during a visual stimulus (SQ) that signaled ingestion of a quinine solution but drank normally during a 2nd visual stimulus that signaled water access. In Exp II, Ss in Group C received oral infusions of quinine contingent upon drinking during SQ. Group N received oral quinine infusions during SQ yoked to those of Group C and noncontingent upon drinking. Only Group C suppressed drinking during SQ. Exp III investigated the contribution of the aversive taste and the postingestive effects of quinine for the learned suppression of ingestion. Ss had quinine infused into either the beak or the crop following drinking during SQ. Only the orally infused Ss suppressed drinking during SQ. Findings suggest that the relation between the drinking response and the aversive taste of quinine during SQ is crucial to the learned suppression of ingestion produced by the present procedures. Implications for theories of food selection and Batesian mimicry are discussed. (39 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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