Increased liking for a solution is not necessary for the attenuation of neophobia in rats
Neath, Karly N.
Limebeer, Cheryl L.
Parker, Linda A.
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
MetadataShow full item record
Recent evidence suggests that liking and wanting of food rewards can be experimentally dissociated (e.g., Berridge, 1996); this dissociation extends to attenuated neophobia in the present study. Rats tend to eat less of a novel food than a familiar food, a phenomenon called neophobia. The present experiments evaluated whether attenuation of neophobia by prior exposure reflects enhanced liking of the flavor using the Taste Reactivity (TR) test. In Experiment 1, rats given five 10 sec TR trials with water or various concentrations of saccharin solution (0.1%, 0.2%, 0.5%) did not show a change in the number of hedonic reactions displayed across trials. However, in a subsequent consumption test from a bottle containing 0.25% saccharin solution, rats with no prior saccharin exposure (group water) consumed less than rats with prior saccharin exposure; that is they displayed neophobia. In Experiment 2, whether rats received five 10 sec TR trials with water or 0.5% saccharin solution, they did not display a difference in hedonic reactions to 0.25% saccharin solution in two 5 min TR test trials. These results suggest that the attenuation of neophobia is evidenced as an increase in the tendency to approach a bottle containing the flavored solution (wanting), but not as an enhanced liking of that solution.