Rats shifted from 32% sucrose to 4% sucrose lick less than rats that experience oniy the 4% solution. Previous experiments have found this negative contrast effect to be reduced ("disinhibited") by the addition of a novel tone in the postshift period. In Experiment 1 of this paper, the negative contrast effect was enhanced when a novel flavor was added to the sucrose solution in the postshift period. In Experiments 2-4, changes in the ambient context, even changes sufficient to produce disruptions in licking, did not alter the degree of negative contrast. Tiese results suggest that (1) rats compare rewards across substantially different contexts, (2) contrast may serve to enhance taste neophobia, and (3) a disinhibitory effect may be confined to the presentation of punctate, nontaste, novel stimuli within a familiar context.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Behavioral Neuroscience