Acquisition of representation-mediated conditioned food aversions

Peter C. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Food aversions were established in rats by administering lithium chloride (LiCl) immediately after the presentation of an exteroceptive conditioned stimulus (CS) which previously had been paired with a food substance. In Experiment 1, rats which received first tone-food and then tone-LiCl pairings showed less food consumption in subsequent testing than rats which received only tone-food or tone-LiCl pairings. Experiments 2 and 3 demonstrated the stimulus specificity of aversions established in this manner. Rats which first received pairings of light and tone CSs with two different food substances and then received pairings of one of those CSs with LiCl showed greater aversion to the food previously associated with the LiCl-paired CS than to the other food substance. Experiment 3 also showed that specific aversions were not acquired if rats received CS-shock rather than CS-LiCl pairings. These results suggest that CS-evoked representations of events can substitute for those events themselves in the formation of new associations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalLearning and Motivation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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