Investigation of the Devaluation Interpretation of Anticipatory Negative Contrast

Charles F. Flaherty, Cynthia Coppotelli, Patricia S. Grigson, Colin Mitchell, Jennifer E. Flaherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Rats suppress intake of an acceptable substance (e.g., 0.15% saccharin) when it is followed by a preferred substance (e.g., 32% sucrose) in once per day pairings. The role of a learned devaluation of the initial solution in suppressed intake (anticipatory negative contrast) was investigated. The findings included the following: (a) Flavors or odors as within-subject cues precluded the occurrence of anticipatory contrast, conditioning flavor and odor preferences instead, which appeared to antagonize suppressed intake. (b) Anticipatory contrast was obtained when within-subject context cues, temporal alternation cues, or drinking-spout cues were used. (c) Preference tests conducted with the spout cues showed that devaluation of the initial substance was not necessary for the occurrence of negative anticipatory contrast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-247
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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