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 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