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Acceptance of novel flavours is increased after early experience of diverse tastes

Abstract

WE believe that the more an animal experiences diversity of flavours at one time the more it will accept novel flavours later. Thus, rats given several distinctive flavours early in life would be more likely to accept an unfamiliar flavour later than would rats whose early gustatory experiences have been less varied. This hypothesis has had some empirical support in the literature. Kuo1, for example, mentions pilot research suggesting that cats, dogs and mynah birds raised on restricted diets for extended periods avoided new food, while others of their kind reared on varied diets ate novel foods readily. We have now found a similar effect with rats using flavoured solutions rather than solid foods.

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References

  1. 1

    Kuo, Z. Y., The Dynamics of Behavior Development: An Epigenetic View (Random House, New York, 1967).

  2. 2

    Winer, B. J., Statistical Principles in Experimental Design (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1971).

  3. 3

    Bronson, G. W., Psychol. Bull., 69, 350–358 (1968).

  4. 4

    Capretta, P. J., and Rawls, L. H., III, J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol., 86, 670–673 (1974).

  5. 5

    Hogan, J. A., in Constraints on Learning (edit. by Hinde, R. A., and Stevenson-Hinde, J.) (Academic, New York, 1973).

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