Acquired flavour preferences: Contextual control of adaptation-level effects

Lucy Albertella, Justin A. Harris, Robert A. Boakes

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This experiment investigated the role of context in the expression of conditioned flavour preferences. Rats were trained on a mixture of almond and sucrose and were then given intermixed exposures to almond in one context (Context A) and to sucrose in a second context (Context S). Finally, choice tests were given in both contexts, with one group given almond-versus-water tests and the other almond + sucrose-versus-sucrose tests. Preference for almond over water was greater in Context A than in Context S. Conversely, preference for almond + sucrose over sucrose was greater in Context S than in Context A. These results suggest that the perceived sweetness of a flavour depends on the context in which it is presented and confirm that expression of a flavour preference depends on the type of test employed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation level
  • Conditioned flavour preference
  • Context
  • Rats

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