Habituation as an underlying mechanism for Sensory Specific Satiety: An assessment using flavor consumption and preference in rats
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Sensory specific satietyHabituationRatsDishabituationDistractionSpontaneous recovery
Ana González, Appetite, [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2021.105821]
SponsorshipCBUA; MICIU; Ministerio de Ciencia Innovación y Universidades; European Commission FPU16/01767, PGC2018-095965-B-I00; Universidad de Granada; European Regional Development Fund
Sensory specific satiety refers to a decline in the hedonic value of the sensory properties of a particular food as it is consumed. This phenomenon is characterized by a decrement in responding as a consequence of repeated exposure, is stimulus specific, and recovers after time. All these characteristics are shared with the habituation phenomenon and for this reason, habituation has been proposed as the underlying mechanism that explains this eating regulatory system. However, several studies conducted with human models have yielded mixed results. Using rats as experimental subjects, the present study tested the following three characteristics of habituation within a Sensory Specific Satiety (SSS) framework: spontaneous recovery, dishabituation and the distractor effect. Experiment 1 demonstrated the basic effect of SSS and its spontaneous recovery over time. In Experiment 2 we found that the presentation of a dishabituator after a pre-feeding procedure had no impact on the SSS effect. Finally, in Experiment 3 the presence of a distractor during a pre-feeding procedure did not alter the expression of SSS. These results challenge the idea that SSS constitutes a typical case of habituation, at least with the procedure used here.