Temperature-dependent conditioned salivation responses to auditory stimuli: Informative cues that make one 'pucker up'
North American Journal of Psychology
Flavor manipulation of foods is an ongoing area of research that has explored how sensory interactions contribute to learned food preferences. While the bulk of literature pertaining to flavor preferences focuses on direct associations between taste, olfactory, and trigeminal (e.g., temperature) cues with post-ingestional consequences, there is evidence that other sensory input (e.g., audition) is associated with different flavor cues to elicit conditioned behaviors of anticipated digestion (i.e., salivation). The present study examined whether salivation responses to auditory tones could be conditioned after being paired with a salivation-inducing tastant that varied in temperature. Participants (N = 110) were randomly assigned to one of five groups that received a lemon juice stimulus at one of the following temperatures: 5°C, 15°C, 25°C, 35°C, and 45°C. All groups were given a 3600-Hz tone (the conditioned stimulus, or CS) followed by a swab of lemon juice (i.e., the unconditioned stimulus, or US) at one of the five temperatures. Participants were given 50 CS-US pairings, during which perceived salivation responses to both stimuli were recorded after every 10 CS-US pairings. Results demonstrated that both types of salivation responses increased across the conditioning period, but these responses were highest when the lemon juice was at room temperature and were significantly lower at cooler temperatures. The data indicate a possible associative learning process that uses non-ingested sensory cues to make informative associations about potential food and their expected flavors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Sensory receptors, Auditory pathways, Ear, Food preferences
Smith, P. L., & Stoltzfus, D. (2012). Temperature-dependent conditioned salivation responses to auditory stimuli: Informative cues that make one “pucker up.” North American Journal of Psychology, 14(3), 597–608.