Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology

Degree Program

Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, MS

Committee Chair

Samuelsen, Chad

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Corbitt, Cynthia

Committee Member

Corbitt, Cynthia

Committee Member

Lundy, Robert

Author's Keywords

taste; smell; flavor; two bottle choice; consummatory choice; food preference


Eating food generates associations between odors and tastes (i.e., flavor) that guide future choices. Experience with an odor-taste mixture links an odor with a taste’s quality and hedonic value, resulting in a preference for an odor paired with a palatable taste over an odor paired with an unpalatable taste. However, experience with a neutral stimulus (i.e., latent inhibition) or environment (i.e., context) can influence the formation of conditioned associations. Here, I used a two-bottle brief-access task to determine whether rats display an innate preference between unpaired odors (isoamyl acetate and benzaldehyde), how preexposure to the unpaired odors impacts mixture-dependent consummatory behaviors, and to understand how the context in which mixtures are sampled informs consummatory behaviors. I found that odors are equally palatable prior to being paired with a taste, that experience with unpaired odors did not impact mixture-dependent consummatory behaviors, and that context may influence the formation of odor-taste associations.

Included in

Neurosciences Commons