Persistence of Preference for a Flavor Presented in Simultaneous Compound With Sucrose

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Abstract

Rats exposed to a simultaneous compound of a flavor and sucrose subsequently exhibited a preference for the flavor over water. This preference persisted across repeated testing even though the flavor was presented in the absence of sucrose. The preference did, however, extinguish if the rats were hungry when trained or tested, or if they had been reexposed to sucrose between training and test. Though failing to extinguish the preference, presentation of the flavor outside the compound protected it from the effects of sucrose devaluation, indicating that these presentations extinguished the within-compound association between the flavor and sucrose. The authors conclude that the hedonic reaction elicited by sucrose imbues the flavor with the same hedonic properties, and these properties maintain the preference independently of the flavor-sucrose association.

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